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Cambridge United 2 v 2 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 16th October 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Cook: From a Winning Position We Found a Way to Give It Up
Saturday, 16th Oct 2021 18:13

Town boss Paul Cook was left frustrated after the Blues once again turned a winning position into a 2-2 draw against Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium.

Two goals from Sone Aluko gave Town a 2-0 lead before James Brophy in the 40th minute and Joe Ironside two minutes from the end claimed what in the end was a deserved point for the U’s from Town's fourth 2-2 draw this season.

“For 43 minutes I genuinely enjoyed us today, thought we were excellent, thoroughly deserved the lead,” Cook said.

“The goal before half-time changes the whole mood in the stadium whether you like it or not. It’s a soft, soft goal from our point of view and a great goal from Cambridge’s.

“Second half we have plenty of possession in really good areas. We get into some good penetrating areas but we don’t really create the chance to score again that probably would have put the game to bed.

“Cambridge were excellently honest all game, kept knocking on the door and you know when those corners come in late on and they’ve got some big guys going in there, there’s always that chance.

“And unfortunately we succumbed to it, which is so disappointing because it was a great day today, a good derby match, a great atmosphere and I enjoyed watching us.

“Unfortunately, we’ve just got that achilles heel in us that’s there for everyone to see. Goals for is not a problem, goals against is a big concern.”

He added: “Since I’ve been manager at Ipswich, I’ve learned that you’re never comfortable in a game, no matter what we’re doing you’re not comfortable.

“We’ve worked so hard this week in training, really hard and everything we’ve worked on we’ve done.

“And we’ve got to that 2-0 lead where we were on the front foot, we were aggressive, we won every individual battle on the pitch, everything we didn’t do at Accrington.


“At 2-0 you think to yourself that we’re going to kick into our fans in the second half, we’ve got to score again in front of them and they’ll go home so happy. And yet we’re sitting here 46, 47 minutes later with a different story.

“From my point of view it’s just learning all the time about players in the latter stages of a game - who’s going to be the one to win the big header and clear it, the goalkeeper to come and catch it, whatever it may be.

“Because every team will have moments and at 2-1 you’re not clear in any game.”

Asked what’s going wrong defensively, Cook responded: “Listen, 100 per cent, you will not get me digging players out or going after people, that is not my style.

“My style is to work very much harder on the training ground, keep going, to watch clips back, to show them the stages of a game.

“At 43 minutes away from home, a great derby match and the stadium was flat, apart from Ipswich fans who were jubilant.

“And we found a way to give a team a leg up, who had shown no signs of scoring. And that’s something you can’t do, it’s a no.

“Those last two minutes you see the game out, you kick into your supporters and you score again after half-time. At 3-0 then it becomes a celebration. But unfortunately for us we’re not at that stage in our development.”

Did he have any thoughts of making defensive substitutions to shore things up at 2-1? “When you sit here and your results go against you, sometimes for us it doesn’t matter what we do, it just doesn’t.

“We put Kyle Edwards, Celina and Wes Burns on. Our intent was to score again. Unfortunately for us, credit to Cambridge, not to us, we didn’t look like scoring.

“It’s easy to sit there and then say what you do. As a manager I’ve never believed in shutting up shop, it’s not my style. We travel as Ipswich Town and we should score again in the second half. Unfortunately for us we never.”

The big positive from a Town perspective was the performance from Aluko, who scored his first two goals for the club.

“Outstanding,” Cook enthused. “When he turned up at the start of the season, he probably wasn’t as fit as where we would have wanted him to be. I think he’s been training every day like it’s his last, screaming in training that he wants to play and I think our fans have seen a real glimpse of Sone Aluko today. I think it was a real positive for everyone.”

Cook explained that midfielder Lee Evans was absent as his wife has had a baby, while striker Joe Pigott’s father died having been suffering with cancer for some time.

“His missus was induced with a baby,” Cook said regarding Evans. “Joe Pigott’s father passed away this morning very, very sadly. All our thoughts are with Joe and obviously Lee for two completely different reasons.

“But I felt the team today should have won. We did enough in the game to win. I thought we travelled like a big club, I thought our support was great, I thought our attitude to the game was first class and unfortunately from a winning position we found a way to give it up and that’s something we have to go away and look at.”

Cambridge head coach Mark Bonner felt his side’s goal five minutes before the break was the game’s turning point.

“I thought we were excellent in the second half, and had a real good threat,” he told the Cambridge News.

“I think the turning point in the game for us is the goal before half-time. It just gave us a real confidence and belief that it can happen in the second half.

“We found the first 35 minutes of that game really difficult, against a team that played last week, and are sharp, confident and are finding a real rhythm in their game.

“They pressed us brilliantly and we got caught on the ball or passed to each other with too many mistakes.

“We were probably a little bit edgy and nervous in the atmosphere and didn’t really commit to a game where we made the pitch big to play or played with good quality direct, with too many backwards passes.

“The goal comes off of a move where we hit the front of the team. They did that really well. Joey [Ironside], Wes [Hoolahan] and Shilow [Tracey] do great and then Brophs [James Brophy] finishes it off, and that’s a real turning point for us.

“Our first 30-minute form has to improve because we’re making the games too hard for ourselves, but our record coming from behind and scoring late goals is outstanding, which is a great quality to have.

“Lots to improve and do, but in a packed stadium on a great day, to take a point is massive for us.”


Photo: TWTD



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Blue_badge added 18:18 - Oct 16
Last season I was "aarrggh", this season I'm "Meh". I guess that's an improvement, but...
0

TimmyH added 18:19 - Oct 16
Again!...sort it out Paul, becoming a poor trait of the season so far!
6

Chris_Knights added 18:26 - Oct 16
Whatever is said ….. 0-2 up away at the mighty Cambridge ???

Not good enough… not even desire to defend the lead … nothing I’ve seen so far shows me a top 6 team. Sorry … it’s just what I see. Hope I’m wrong !! COYB
17

mightyhorse added 18:27 - Oct 16
I really can’t see him turning things around. A draw with Cambridge should be the end for him. Pull the trigger now before things get worse.
9

itfcserbia added 18:27 - Oct 16
What the HELL do you tell these players during half time? I am officially off the Cook bandwagon.
12

therein61 added 18:27 - Oct 16
You and the overloaded ineffective coaches are supposed to stop things like this,
get it sorted big man!!!!!
7

confederateblue added 18:28 - Oct 16
Keep going Cookie, we just need time to gel.
-6

ringwoodblue added 18:30 - Oct 16
Work harder on the training ground, keep going and watch TV clips of how poorly we defend? Is that all you have to offer Paul? Hardly inspires confidence does it?

How come Sunderland can hold onto a lead away from home with only 10 men but we can’t with 11. That’s why Sunderland will be going up and we won’t.
19

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 18:31 - Oct 16
If you know there are "big guys going in there," surely you do something to combat that, e.g. bring on Toto, who could have matched this threat. You shouldn't need to score 3+ goals to win. Two should normally be enough, especially if the other team is still on zero.
19

mutters added 18:32 - Oct 16
“Listen, 100 per cent, you will not get me digging players out or going after people, that is not my style."

Apart from when it is your style.

No consistency in anything that you do or say I am afraid
10

Churchman added 18:33 - Oct 16
Yeah, Paul, everyone is excellent when they play us. Softest bunch out there. It’s not that difficult.

League One: it’s not difficult. A league stuffed with small clubs paying their players peanuts. But their players are honest and organised. I’m sure ours are trying very hard …..
5

grow_our_own added 18:36 - Oct 16
"who’s going to be the .. goalkeeper to come and catch it" - I didn't see any other goalkeepers playing for us today except Hladky. Hopefully this means Cook is finally learning that he's signed a dodgy one, and needs to act. We are top conceders in League One. Hladky cannot remain in goal for ITFC.
6

ricardo55555 added 18:42 - Oct 16
To be honest, I thought we were a bit unlucky second half. We were playing pretty well, and didn’t take our chances when we got to the by line. Corners always have an element of random element, and it is the second time we have been caught at the end.. We might not be firing on all cylinders, but we show of streaks of great play. We might well be the best team in the division, we just need a little fortune going our way. We will have our measure on Tuesday and see...I am confident.... The games generally have been hugely entertaining, and though I am sick every time we let another lead slip, it has been absorbing. Yes - and this season - I am really looking forward to the next game, when I think we could stuff anybody......
I would like to see Edwards start again, he is so talented and great to watch. Assume Paul Cook has his reasons.
-1

LonE17Blue added 18:44 - Oct 16
Our players are far too soft when the opposition gets in their faces, so they crumble like a leaking balloon.
7

Suffolkboy added 18:44 - Oct 16
Usual clap trap ,getting more boring and predictable all the time !
Demonstrate you can analyse , offer correction,and motivate the men under your charge !
Somethings ,or many things maybe,are falling short : in fact this seems to be virtually the only measure of consistency !
COYB
9

SickParrot added 18:48 - Oct 16
Mr Cook's solution to everything that goes wrong on the pitch is to work harder in training. In my opinion our inability to hold on to a lead is mostly about a lack of confidence, desire and mental strength. I would suggest that some sports psychology would be more appropriate than extra time on the practice pitch.
Our other issue is an inability to deal with crosses in to our box. Certainly work on that in training but Mr Cook also needs to make better substitions when we're struggling to deal with this tactic.
11

Drifter3012 added 18:49 - Oct 16
Like others I was totally surprised to see Aluko in the starting line up and wondered, again, what Cook was playing at.
But at 40 minutes it seemed like a masterstroke then Cookie lost the plot.
This is what I just don't get.
At half time he should have replaced Fraser at least to give the team a new impetus. Then when it was clear that 2-1 was going to be a good result, he should have brought on Toto for Chaplin to shore up the back line.
Whether Cook goes or stays, we need a new goalkeeper in January to have any chance of getting to the play offs
13

Bert added 18:55 - Oct 16
A big club in league one, a squad that most would envy, an average home gate of c20,000, top scorers, a huge investment in backroom staff ….. but we leak goals like a sieve. Cook is right on one thing, it is rarely comfortable watching my team defend. It’s great to have an attack minded team but if we cannot win against Cambridge, Cheltenham and Burton we will be mid table this year and it makes me very sad to say it.
9

Brockleyblue added 19:00 - Oct 16
I went to the game today (first time I’ve seen Town since Jan 2020). I was sat amongst the Cambridge fans. They were baffled as to why Paul Cook, in his infinite wisdom, substituted Town’s two best players (by far) today: Aluko and then Chaplin. I was equally confused by that logic. Both those players had held on to the ball really well all game (Aluko’s touch is incredible, ditto Chaplin’s close control). Once those two went off we couldn’t retain the ball down their end, which resulted in greater possession and more confidence, with the inevitable consequence of their 88th minute equaliser. Other than Sone and Conor I thought Cameron Burgess played well. The midfield trio of Morsy, Fraser and, especially, El Mizouni were ineffective. For a team of our supposed quality to not manage a single shot on target in the second half (and very few off target shots, for that matter) is quite embarrassing given that Cambridge, on the evidence of today, are a very mediocre team.
6

Bazza8564 added 19:00 - Oct 16
The key for me was that 20 minute spell in the second half when we were running rings round them and created absolutely nothing. Our movement and speed of passing was substandard and we dwelt with the ball far too often and gave away good territory over and over again.

Agree about the substitutions being a bit bold but we should have put the game to bed well before then.

When the third goal didn't come we it was inevitable Cambridge would get a chance or two and sadly, once again, we didnt have the nous to get over the line.
1

jas0999 added 19:04 - Oct 16
Same old …
4

Monkey_Blue added 19:09 - Oct 16
“Work harder in training” The number of times he said that after games the players must have been doing next to nothing before, either that or they are doing a 12 hour day by now.
5

Monkey_Blue added 19:11 - Oct 16
What happened to us not ever being soft again as soon as Morsy was in the side? Sort of suggests you might be the problem Cook, not the players.
14

steve_holmes27 added 19:22 - Oct 16
It is extraordinary that the management have decided to bring in Probert and Reid, seemingly to support Cook. Cook's record is, quite simply, appalling. At the end of August his Ipswich record was won 4 from 22. Here we are in mid-October, just 3 points above the relegation zone. He has had every opportunity to galvanize Ipswich teams, this season and last, but shows no sign of doing so. If there is any consolation, it is that Reid is probably, from management's perspective at least, able to step in as manager, when the inevitable happens. Just hope it isn't too late for our season when it does....
14

matthewwylds added 19:25 - Oct 16
Talking s#it again your very boring same old Waffle best team we had in a number of years and he’s not the one to take them forward got to go
6


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