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Portsmouth 0 v 4 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 19th October 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Cook: As Complete a Performance as We've Had This Season
Tuesday, 19th Oct 2021 22:56

Town boss Paul Cook felt his side’s 4-0 demolition of his former club Portsmouth was as complete a performance as the Blues have put in this season.

Macauley Bonne, scoring his 10th goal of the campaign, Conor Chaplin, Sone Aluko and Wes Burns scored the goals as Town romped to their first win at Fratton Park since 2012 and their first 4-0 away victory since beating Reading at the Madejski Stadium in April 2018.

Asked whether the game could have gone much better, Cook was keeping his feet very much on the ground.

“It’s keep going, it’s boring,” he insisted. “I said to you the other day, you’ve got to go away, you’ve got to analyse, you’ve got to look at what you do and what you can do to get better.

“Tonight, I think we’ve seen at probably a really tough place to go as complete a performance as we’ve had this season, and that’s really pleasing.

“I’m so pleased for our supporters who travel. We see the support behind that goal, no different than Cambridge on Saturday, we said at half-time ‘You have to score in front of those fans, you have have to give them that momentum that they want to give you to carry you home’.

“And we did that in abundance tonight and I’m delighted for the supporters and I’m delighted for the players.”

Town have now netted 27 goals in 13 league matches, more than anyone else in the division.

“We’ve got goals in the team, I think that’s apparent to everyone,” Cook continued. “We’ve got a striker [Bonne] at the minute who’s red hot. We’ve got a number 10 in Chaplin, who is so infectious in everything he does, and around that lads are growing.

“We made a few changes tonight and we’ll keep doing that when we think that’s right. But tonight it was a really good team performance, it was a good squad performance, it was everything that I like about coming away from home.

“If you look at our subs on Saturday, we’ve made similar subs today with the seven, 10 and 11 coming on. But on Saturday when it goes wrong you get absolutely slaughtered and tonight you don’t, and that’s football. Three days in football is a long time.”

He added: “Our lads were excellent, I’m just pleased. [Toto] Nsiala came in and Nsiala’s an absolutely man mountain at times. [George] Edmundson moved to the left.

“It’s just a good night and the important thing is whether we can follow it up at Portman Road on Saturday as supporters will turn out again.

‘We’ve given them a taste now again that we could be on the road. What we can’t do is continually take a step forward and two back. We’ve taken one forward tonight, we’ll make sure we’ll try and take another one on Saturday.

“Listen, we just keep going, you know me. My messages are the same, I said the other day, you don’t get medals in October, there’s no promotions, there’s no relegations, you just stay focus and work.

“Tonight we’ve shown we can go to probably one of the toughest away grounds in the country and we can win. We’ve got to make sure we keep that going.”

Asked how pleasing the clean sheet was, Cook said: “If you’d have said to me before the game if you win 4-3 would you be happy, I’d be doing handstands.

“The reality is we’ve got goals in us, we’re the highest scorers in the division. The goals against hurts, and it hurts us all.

“You leave Cambridge on Saturday and we’re all devastated because if we’d seen that out, our league position now would look very, very healthy.

“And your league position changes very quickly when you win. It doesn’t when you lose. The reality for us now 13 games in is just keep going.”

Quizzed on whether it was good to have keeper Christian Walton back in the side, Cook said: “I won’t single people out, I don’t do things like that. Tonight we had a lot of good performances in the team and if you go away from home you have to have men on the pitch, and tonight we had a lot of good men.”

He added: “We’ve been so much better since we played Accrington. We just didn’t turn up and our supporters, probably 1200 of them travelled home on the floor.

“Since then we turned up at Cambridge but we made some individual mistakes and made those individual mistakes at crucial times. The goal before half-time at Cambridge absolutely changed the game, changed the whole atmosphere in the stadium.

“Tonight, everything that’s supposed to go your way as a visiting team went our way, and we made that happen. We didn’t wait for Portsmouth, we went on to them in the second half and I’m delighted for the players and I’m more than happy for the supporters, that’s for sure.

“A lot gets written and a lot gets said and for managers now, we’ve got so many new staff and players come in. How long does it take to change cultures at football clubs? You can’t do it in a short space of time.

“Unfortunately, for all football managers now, we get judged that quick it’s not right. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s not right. So for me, I just stay level-headed, I just keep going.

“Now all my attention will be on Fleetwood travelling back tonight and we’ve got to do our best to win. Because if we beat Fleetwood on Saturday, all of a sudden the table looks different, we’re probably be in the first half for the first time, which I’ll get excited about, and our supporters get a little bit happy.

“And that’s the most important thing, our owners and our supporters, that’s for sure.”

Town have now been in front at half-time in each of their last six away games in all competitions with today the third that they have won.

“I told our players in the dressing room, we’ve got a habit of taking the lead away and the whole country will be watching you now, 2-0 up, 3-0 up and you’ll give it up.

“All of a sudden you can change your habits by changing what you do on the pitch, and that’s the most important thing.

“Our lads are watching videos, clips, repetition, habits and tonight I’m just happy after a really strong team performance.

“If you manage big clubs and you play for big clubs, you have to put up with pressure. I get you lads [the media] asking me different questions every week and my answers are quite similar. I’m as good as the players.

“When you leave grounds like Accrington you’re on the floor as a manager. You leave Fratton Park on a high.

“The brutal reality is that in my world you’ll only be judged over a period of time. If our lads’ habits stay consistent like they are getting now and get better, the reality is we’ll grow and get better as a team.”

Pompey boss Danny Cowley admitted that his side, who have won just one of their last 10 in the league, losing six, has a tendency to wilt when things go against them.

“It was unacceptable, we were shamed – and I will take complete responsibility for it,” Cowley told the Portsmouth News.

“It’s my job to make sure the players are in the right place to perform at their best and they were well short.

“There’s a weakness in our group when things go against us. For 40 minutes it was a competitive League One game, there’s very little in it, then we make a mistake which leads to a goal.

“It’s not the goal which cost us the game, it’s the way we responded. We didn’t show anywhere near the qualities in that moment.

“Every single person within our group has the responsibility of going away, looking at themselves and seeing what more they can give to help this team.

“In the moment of difficulty and adversity we don't have anywhere near the solutions that we need. Sometimes it’s hard to put in what God left out.

“We were well short in terms of the qualities I would expect from my players.

“Until the opening goal it was a competitive League One game with very little in it against a very good team. But as soon as anything goes against us, we fold.”

Regarding his club’s fans, he added: “We as a football club let them down, we let them down.

“It’s really hard for me to stand here and say that. It’s not through the want of trying, but we let them down.”

Photos: TWTD/PagePix

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warwickblue added 23:19 - Oct 19
I don't comment on individual players, except to say that Bonne is red-hot.....

Gforce added 23:19 - Oct 19
Well done Cookie and the players, fantastic performance, especially the second half.Credit where credit is due.
Now please follow it up with another quality attacking show on Saturday,consistency is paramount.
Also a big shout out to our amazing away supporters, another brilliant turn out,1200 + ,you truly are a credit to the club.

htb added 23:19 - Oct 19
Well done PC. Let’s kick on from here.

OwainG1992 added 23:24 - Oct 19
Bonne is red hot to be fair @warwick.
Think Cook has had a lot of pressure put on him and perhaps rightly so.
But first 6 games 3 points.
Next 6 11 points.
If we can get say 12 points from our next bunch of 6 (including todays 3) I think that's decent.

BossMan added 23:33 - Oct 19
Well done Cook and players. Conor Chaplin baby !!!!

have_a_word_with_him added 23:54 - Oct 19
Good for you Cooky, it's nice to hear a manager talk about the fans and telling the players about the fans and how they can give you the extra energy you need. Love to hear it.

arc added 00:15 - Oct 20

Peter Reid is a GENIUS!

(Just kidding.)

Len_Brennan added 06:24 - Oct 20
Great result, very good performance second half; now keep it going & don't let this be a false dawn when we have confidence to bring into the next few games.
Delighted for the 1,200 who made the trip on a Tuesday night.

grinch added 06:27 - Oct 20
Well done to PC the team and the fans who attended fantastic result Let's now have consistency and beat Fleetwood on Dat

Saxonblue74 added 06:45 - Oct 20
Pleased for Cook and the great travelling support. That was £10 well spent on Ifollow, very entertaining. I'm glad it's starting to happen for PC, it was always going to take time and that's not something that's easy to come by in football. Whatever your opinion,you cannot question his enthusiasm and passion.

GB1 added 06:54 - Oct 20
We win 4-0 away to Portsmouth and only have 10 comments on the interview thread. We should all be over the moon! People keep saying it’s a results business, we’ll results are showing we are turning in the right direction! We’ve had a 6-0 & a 4-0, and gained many more points, yet only 10 comments!! So many on here do actually want us to fail so they can hide behind social media!
Well done tonight boys, I’m still convinced we’ll be top 2, I’ve wobbled with that thought when the results were less impressive, but that’s where we’ll end up!

chopra777 added 06:55 - Oct 20
Checkmate Mr Cowley from chequebook fc. We will not be shaken or stirred. PC is our Bond and Cowley the villain.

cat added 07:11 - Oct 20
What a great night to be a Town fan, so credit to P.C, the players and the lucky die hard fans who made the journey. Roll on Saturday!

JewellintheTown added 07:11 - Oct 20
It gives me no pleasure for us to to beat a Danny Cowley side. I'm not at all childish ...
Ok, who am I kidding?! Thoroughly enjoyed that! Well done all involved. Footballs done the talking Mr Cowley! Hopefully that'll shut you up for a bit. Unlikely.
(Childish gloat over).

Dissboyitfc added 07:40 - Oct 20
Excellent all round, the performance the result and our fans!

Who still would have preferred the Cowleys in charge?

Dissboyitfc added 07:44 - Oct 20
It is sad to think there are supposed town fans that would prefer us to lose so they could have another pop at Cook!


Paddy39 added 07:55 - Oct 20
I loved every minute of the game. Glad I spent the £10 on ifollow, but having to listen to some of the dross our town legend Mick Mills comes out with, I wish I had him on a mute button lol. Let’s have another great performance on Saturday and give Fleetwood a good beating. COYB’s. no my icon.

Help added 07:57 - Oct 20
Well done all, players, coaches and fans. Decent mid-week win away and a clean sheet to boot

Cookycrew added 08:10 - Oct 20
Excellent Win. Onwards and upwards. Best Town team for years is slowly beginning to click through the gears. We'll done PC, players and fans. Blue Army 💙

Drifter3012 added 08:37 - Oct 20
At the beginning of the season I, like others, were willing to give Cook 10 games after what happened last season. I admit to getting impatient with him and the team because of our start, which in reality will hamper our promotion chances.
I was over the moon watching last night that the team put in a cohesive display and that Cook made the right changes. We played well and put Pompey to the side. However they were very poor.
Like all Town fans I want Cook and the lads to succeed and a top 6 finish, even without promotion, will be a good season.
However I think the next few weeks will be telling, Plymouth, Oxford, Rotherham & Sunderland will be tough games and if we gain points against them then I think it will give us a better indication how we are really doing in this league.
But for now we'll done Cookie and the team.
Let's stuff Fleetwood on Saturday.

Edmundo added 08:42 - Oct 20
We were good. Very good. We took the opportunities. Pompey were made to look poor, because we just kept the pressure on... more of the same please!

churchmans added 08:52 - Oct 20
We have not had a goalscorer that you expect to score every game since marcus stewart! Now we have bonne! Hi's one of our own

vanmunt added 09:00 - Oct 20
Try not to get too up or down over the Town but I will be honest, I am still on cloud 9 this morning there is nothing like watching the Town win.

Bazza8564 added 09:02 - Oct 20
I said a couple of weeks ago we might find it easier against sides who want to play against us and not just park the bus. Last night was magic, even in the first half we had good quality on the ball and moved it well.
With some tough away assignments coming up against Sunderland and Plymouth, that type of display will hold us in good stead.
Well done Cookie, and the blue army who travelled, sorry I had to miss this one but you were magic :)

Roo added 09:07 - Oct 20
Fantastic performance last night - I thought Donacien was excellent along with many others. We are entering a huge stage of the season with some massive games from now until the end of the year..... in contrast to recent seasons can we now be a team that turns over the teams at the top of the league as that is what we will need to do to push on. Was mortified after Cambridge and ecstatic tonight - thats football I guess but roll on the next 8/10 weeks and lets get ourselves in with a shout come January. COYB

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