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Cambridge United 2 v 2 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 16th October 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Aluko: A Very Disappointing Result in the End
Sunday, 17th Oct 2021 11:08

Sone Aluko was frustrated after the Blues allowed a 2-0 lead, established with his first two goals for the club, to slip as Cambridge United came back to draw 2-2 at the Abbey Stadium, the sixth time Town have failed to win having gone in front in League One games this season.

Aluko, 32, set the Blues on their way to what should have been a third win on the trot and back-to-back league victories for the first time this season with goals on 10 and 36.

“A frustrating one in the end,” the Nigerian international said. “To go out and start very well, controlling a lot of the first half, we were 2-0 up and controlling the game, playing a lot of the game in their half, so to concede just before half-time was tough. But I think after the goal we managed to end that half pretty well.

“The second half was just managing the game, seeing it out and in the end we fell short, on a set piece as well, which this season we’ve been good at, so that’s a very disappointing result in the end.”

Was it particularly frustrating as so much time is spent working on those situations? “Every team does now, everyone knows their jobs, winning that first contact and if you don’t that second one is crucial.

“And we lost both contacts today and that’s something that hurts the team and with the amount of work we put into it, it’s disappointing.”

He added: “It’s not individuals, it’s a team thing. From the desire to stop crosses, the desire to squeeze up before.

“It’s not just after the corner, it’s things that happen before and we all take responsibility for that. We’ll go again and we’ll keep working at it and that’s football.”

Aluko’s first goal for the club was a memorable one, the winger beating a defender to the ball before lobbing deftly over keeper Dimitar Mitov.

“I saw him slip so it wasn’t what I was planning to do initially but when he slipped I thought I’ve got to relax on the connection and there’s no way he’s going to get it and it went in,” he recalled.

The second goal was a predatory effort after the ball fell to him after it had hit the post from a corner.


“It just happened,” he said. “I love those goals, you don’t have to work too hard, stay on your toes and I just squeezed it in somehow.

“I don’t know what happened before it dropped to me because there were a few boys ahead of me. I just saw the ball drop to my feet and left foot squeezed it under him.”

The Hounslow-born forward might even have had a third with an effort from inside his own half when Mitov slipped as he cleared when well out of his goal.

“To be honest, I look back at that one now and I had a lot more time than I thought,” he reflected.

“I think I rushed it. He slipped again, but I think it was Macauley Bonne that kind of half took my eye away from it. It’s unlike me to panic in that situation but I rushed that one.”

Asked whether it felt like a defeat in the dressing room, he said: “Yes and no because we still played well for long parts of the game, so we’ve got to give ourselves credit for that. But yes, it’s two points dropped for sure today.

“There’s only one way out of this, which is to work hard, analyse the game and go again Tuesday and then Saturday with the games coming thick and fast now.”

Aluko, who joined Town in the summer having left Reading, had praise for the 2,513 travelling Blues who made the trip to the Abbey.

“Incredible,” he said. “Since I came to the club, the support has been fantastic. Most games it’s 20,000-plus at home, filled the away allocation again today and they’ve been brilliant, so hopefully we can give them some happy times.”

Aluko was pleased to be back in the team with his only previous league start the 5-2 home defeat to Bolton.

“It was good,” he continued. “I love playing football, I’ll play any game, zero fans, full house, I love it, so it was good to be back in the team and it was good to score a couple of goals as well and I hope my form continues like that.”

He admits it’s frustrating watching from the sidelines as a sub: “You get behind your team and trust that they’ll do the job, and hopefully you can contribute to games as a sub.

“When you’re watching you’re analysing the game, saying ‘OK, if I was the pitch where could I affect it?’, so it’s tough.

“I’m better player on the pitch than I am a sub, it’s hard when you’re not affecting the game.

“I’ve sat out a few games now since the Bolton game, so I think that was part of the reason why my performance was so high - I just wanted to show the manager that I want to come and contribute to this team now.”

Manager Paul Cook has said players who work hard during the week will get chances with matches coming with great regularity.

“Yes, and we’ve got a strong team,” Aluko added. “We signed 19 players in the transfer window, good players as well, so every day you’ve got to be on it in training, you’ve got to make sure you’re in his eye and making the selections for him difficult.

“That’s all I can do and I think I’ve done that this week, he put me in the team and hopefully I repaid him today with the performance, but ultimately you want the win.

“Playing or not playing, everyone knows the ambition of the club is to get promoted. Two points dropped today is not great but it’s a long season.”

Reflecting further on the intensity of training at Playford Road, he added: “It’s not quite at pre-season level, but it’s tough. He works us hard and because of the number of players we have and the squad we have, if you’re not in the team that’s a lot of boys who don’t play, so the tempo has to stay high that if you come in you’re ready. And, to be fair, most times when he’s changed the team, that’s [been the case].”


Quizzed on whether Tuesday’s trip to Portsmouth, who were beaten 4-1 at Rotherham yesterday and are 12th, Aluko said: “For us, all games are big games now. Teams know what we did in the window, they know we’re an ambitious club, so they’re coming at us.

“Everyone wants to beat Ipswich and get a good result and they see when they draw or when teams beat us that they’re clapping their fans and going around like it’s a cup game almost.

“We have to take that on the chin and have to embrace that and Tuesday will be no different. We’re a big team, they’re a big team, so we loo forward to those fixtures.”

Asked whether he’s fit enough to play on Tuesday following Saturday’s match and then again when Fleetwood visit Portman Road next weekend, he said: “We train hard so everyone’s ready to play in the games. I feel fine, so hopefully if I’m selected I’ll be in good form.”


Photos: TWTD/PagePix



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Saxonblue74 added 11:31 - Oct 17
I can never understand the "seeing the game out" thing. When you're on top of every aspect of the game then why not go on to try for goals 3,4 or 5? Why change it up and defend a 1 goal lead when there's over half the match still to play? There's not a team in this division who can handle us going forward.
10

cat added 11:37 - Oct 17
Frustrating because that felt like a defeat. Played some good stuff but we really need to kill teams off. We need to freshen up the back 5, maybe give Walton another chance and hope Coulson returns soon. Still a point away ain’t a disaster but dropping points to teams like Cambridge is. Maybe the way Cook took that ball out of the air in second half he should take the gloves next week!
3

Bazza8564 added 12:03 - Oct 17
Sonne's performance was the one major plus from yesterday and gives us depth and quality on that wide right position.
6

Linkboy13 added 12:43 - Oct 17
Without doubt the most skilful ball player at the club and works hard too. So why was he dropped after the Bolton debacle after being one of our best players. Think he's become Cook's number one scrape goat.
1

jas0999 added 12:57 - Oct 17
It was an atrocious result. Prior to the game anything less than a win would have been disappointing, but to throw away a two goal lead. Wow. Awful. Most managers wouldn’t survive this, particularly considering their overall record. Lucky for Cook, the new owners seem content.
5

BossMan added 13:06 - Oct 17
My guess is Cook will bring back Walton and Coulson for Pompey game and start Celina, Burns and Edwards.
1

PhilR added 13:25 - Oct 17
You can bet that 'managing the game out' from half time came from Cook. Bizarre. It takes the team's belief away that it can go on and dominate the rest of the game and win well. It invites a draw or defeat, flies in the face of this team's attacking ability and plays to its weakness, and smacks of a weak manager panicking under pressure.
1

dirtydingusmagee added 13:29 - Oct 17
Cook is still the weakest link we have the players but we have NOT got the manager who is able to out think the opposition .
2

Karlosfandangal added 13:49 - Oct 17
What surprised when Aliko was on in place of Burns as Burns has looked very good.
But we’ll done Aluko excellent performance. If Town had lost it would been another moan at Cook for dropping Burns.

1 defeat in 7 I will take but really should have won this one from the lead and the way we played in the first half.

The real test is about to come with Plymouth Portsmouth etc if we can have 1 defeat in 7 after these games I will be happy.

Think the Jan transfer window will see a couple of defenders in and maybe a keeper as that seems to be the problem
1

Marinersnose added 14:05 - Oct 17
Unfortunately Cook has to take responsibility for the way in which his side is encouraged to play. Us fans have seen it from day one, score a goal and sit back . Doncaster was the exception. We always looks like conceding goals when the team drops deep. Even Shrewsbury nearly nicked a draw. This has to be Cooks instructions. We look an excellent team for short periods of most games but for large parts we look a very average league one outfit who will finish in the lower half of the league.Im fed up with the hype. Too much jobs for the lads and not enough professionalism. This group of players should be doing much better. I wonder what our new ageing consultant will have to say about that ?
2

LimerickTractorBoy added 15:32 - Oct 17
Interesting to hear Conor Coady on motd last night saying they work constantly on set-piece situations with their goalkeeping coach... think we need some of this Mr Cook, concession rate from corners is alarming.
1

herfie added 16:16 - Oct 17
Left side defence and GK weakest links yesterday. Has to be fixed.
1

BobbyBell added 21:33 - Oct 17
We are the leagues top scorers so why do we even try to sit on a lead. Our defending is the problem so we should just carry on attacking and getting more goals. Once we get a lead we seem to just keep giving possession away and coming under constant pressure from teams that we had been dominating.
0

JewellintheTown added 22:36 - Oct 17
Pretty much every player needs a kick in the nut sack everytime they concede shocking goals like those. They'll either learn from the kind of pain us fans are going through watching that tosh, or leave football to join a choir as sopranos.
0

runningout added 23:17 - Oct 17
Sone was awful v Newport. Think he was unwell. The reason for most of our sad shows is lack of Ruthlessness. Looks like the team isn’t happy and gets nervous when no need. Defence is static too. Nuff said from Miserable me

0

Granthamblue62 added 07:54 - Oct 18
I'm beginning to sound like a stuck record, a bit like Cook's lame post-match rhetoric. I like the man, its hard not to. However, the amount of games thrown from winning positions is alarming, and perhaps, ultimately costly. I was desperate for Cook to succeed here, but he looks out of his depth without his trusty number 2. He appears to completely lack any tactical nous and stubbornly refuses to change things up with different formations. The defence from keeper onwards is shocking. Fratton Park is a difficult place at any time, let alone when you have absolutely no consistency. I fear a Pompey backlash. We won't get anything there. I think I've seen enough of Cook now to state that Town will not get out of this league with him at the helm. If we're still fumbling around come Crimbo, I'm sure the Yank owners will act. As 'Northstander' stated in his column today, these performances are frankly unacceptable. Yet another false dawn! Grrrrrr!
5

thechangingman added 08:07 - Oct 18
I nodded to every statement you made Granthamblue62! My faith is decimated AGAIN, with yet ANOTHER false dawn.
We've become something of a graveyard for hope, haven't we?
IMHO Cook is woefully inadequate, and has given me no reasons whatsoever to feel anything positive can come out of his tenure.
So, here we are again - needing a change. I won't be holding my breath...
2

ringwoodblue added 08:52 - Oct 18
We are such a paradox team at the moment. There can’t be too many other clubs in recent seasons that have scored more and conceded more than any other team in an division at the same time. Entertaining for the neutrals but frustrating as hell as a fan.

Well done Sone, you did your but but it’s a shame you were let down by some of your teammates.
2


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