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Ipswich Town 0 v 0 Oxford United
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 13th November 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Cook: We Deserved to Win
Saturday, 13th Nov 2021 18:34

Town boss Paul Cook believed his side did enough to win their 0-0 home draw with Oxford United.

Asked whether a draw was a fair result, he said: “No, I felt we deserved to win, I’ve got to be a bit biased. I thought the first half we were very equal, I think we’ve hit the post twice.

“Oxford are a good side, there’s no getting away from that. Oxford showed their credentials in the game very early on, how they move the ball from side to side, they’ve got good players, have good penetration.

“But I thought in the second half we took control of the game. Kicking into the end we like kicking into, I felt a goal was coming.

“We allowed Oxford only brief counter-attacks in the second half, so I was really pleased with how we played, I was really pleased with everything about our performance today.

“Sometimes you’ve got to assert yourself on a game and make sure it’s a game you don’t lose. I felt we did that well today.”

With Oxford having scored 13 goals in their last five matches in all competitions, Cook was pleased with the clean sheet, the goalless draw having ended a run of 17 consecutive Town league matches in which a goal had been scored.

“[Oxford manager] Karl [Robinson] said [before the game] the the likelihood was that we might cancel each other out,” Cook reflected. “I never felt the game ended up like that.

“I felt in the first half especially, both teams with different styles had their moments at both ends without a doubt, but in the second half I felt very, very comfortable on the bench.

“We really, really turned up a level and I felt we were looking like we were going to score, and unfortunately we just couldn’t produce that moment of magic that would have seen a fantastic crowd go home delighted.

“So we just keep working hard, we keep looking to the next game and we try and do better.”

Cook had praise for Bailey Clements, making his league debut at left-back: “Absolutely outstanding. For our young lads, and I think for everyone at Ipswich Town, we’ve seen such a turnover of players and they’ve all seen how it is to have one of your own playing as well.

“And if you work hard at our football club and you get an opportunity, then the right thing will happen.

“Bailey’s a big Ipswich Town fan, I’m sure his family is very proud of him today and his debut was fully deserved and the way he played, as you can imagine yourself, he’d be hard to leave out.”

Presumably Clements had impressed him in training previously rather than his inclusion having been down to his display as a sub in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday? “We’ve got a very strong U18s and U23s. We believe the first team’s getting stronger and we don’t want to just be a club that buys players, we need to produce our own.

“Ipswich Town over many years has always done that and we’ve seen a lad step up today and have an outstanding [league] debut, so well done Bailey.”

Cook confirmed that Matt Penney wasn’t injured: “No, Matt’s just feeling a little bit of playing a lot of games quickly. The reality is that when you’ve got squads, we have to give lads opportunities and also lads have got to earn the right to play, that’s what big clubs do.

“If you’ve got a shirt at our club, you’ve got to make sure you retain it by your performances on the pitch.

“Matt, no different than anyone else, will be back involved, he will be back in the team because the most important thing is you get back on it and you ride again.”

Asked whether the point might prove to be a good one come the end of the season, Cook said: “One hundred per cent. This is football. When you play good teams, there are always moments in games.

“I thought in the second half we were comfortable in the game and that’s great credit to our players, for listening, for learning and for making sure that when we’re attacking we’re secure at the back.

“Too many times here this season we’ve given goals away when we’re in the ascendency through counter-attacking and transition, but we looked very solid in those departments today.

“We then look to our flair players to get us a goal and unfortunately we couldn’t do that.”

Quizzed on Oxford’s running down the clock in the latter stages with players regularly taking to the turf to waste time, Cook said: “You’ve all watched the game. Karl’s a very good coach, he’s been coaching now for years and his teams go everywhere and play with a really good style, open, aggressive, want to play and today they were hanging on at the end and that’s football.

“Our supporters, they’ve always wanted us to be the aggressive team at Portman Road and don’t want to give up the pitch to anyone, I felt we did that really well today.”

Town have now played three teams towards the top of the division, Plymouth, Wycombe and Oxford and Cook believes the Blues were the better side in each match.

“I think we’ve seen Plymouth, Wycombe and Oxford and with the greatest respect to all three teams, I think we’ve been the better team on the pitch on each occasion,” he insisted.

“While the points tally only say four, another day it might say more. So we’ll travel to all the games now with our supporters believing in the optimism that’s coming.

“One of our owners, Ed Schwartz, was here today and I’m sure he’s really enjoyed the game.”

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s FA Cup replay at Oldham, he said: “There will be changes but purely on the basis that we want to pick a team to go and win the game. We want to pick a very aggressive strong team. We want to be playing Barrow at home in the next round.

“Like I’ve just said to the lads, big clubs have a lot of football games because they’re on good runs, and that’s what we want to develop into.”

Oxford boss Robinson was pleased with the way his defence prevented the Blues from having too many opportunities.

“We were better first half and they were better second half, the difference in the second half being that we didn’t get close enough to their two holding midfield players,” he told the Oxford Mail.

“We didn’t give them many opportunities, that’s good shape and good defending.The back four has come together, Herbie in front was outstanding again.

“I thought our decision-making in that final third wasn’t great but from our point of view, I’m really pleased with the players, it’s a good point on the road.”

Robinson was booked just before half-time after reacting when he felt Toto Nsiala had fouled Nathan Holland in the box.

“The referee had a big decision to make. If someone doesn’t get the football it’s a foul anywhere else on the pitch,” he insisted. “It’s a big talking point and one I will obviously moan about.”

Robinson dismissed suggestions that his Town counterpart Cook had prevented him from being sent off by pulling him away.

“I embarrassed the referee because he should have given a penalty,” he continued. “I don’t think he would have not given it and sent me off because it would have been the worst 30 seconds of his career.”

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TimmyH added 18:41 - Nov 13
On the balance of play not sure we did a draw was about right, other than us hitting the post twice which came somewhat against the run of play in the 1st half and not really creating any clear cut opportunities in the 2nd half though with more territorial advantage. Couple of times got away from 'dicey' situations in our box in the first half but passed the ball better and won plenty of second ball.

A bitty performance for me but Oxford weren't a bad outfit just sullied by some time wasting in the 2nd half.

TimmyH added 18:43 - Nov 13
I should say they 'passed the ball better and won second ball' in the 1st half.

johnwarksshorts added 18:46 - Nov 13
Fair assessment.

billlm added 18:58 - Nov 13
No, Chaplin should have been a 10,

heathen66 added 19:03 - Nov 13
Not really sure any team deserved the win.
Not wanting to ne too negative but we will need a Plan B and a Plan C if we are to get out of this League, not a Plan C that looks like Plan B and a Plan B that looks exactly the same as Plan A
I like what Cook has put together but there is a time and a place to change the approach with say 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 or anything x-x-2 if I am honest.
Today Oxford to their credit had done their homework as stopped Burns and Edwards, but we just continued to do the same (different personnel) and hope for a different result...and then gave last season L1 top scorer 5 mins !!!

ImAbeliever added 19:13 - Nov 13
Celina hit the post twice, could easily have been 2-0. Thought we were the better 2nd half but 0-0 ok.

rgp1 added 19:14 - Nov 13
We wont get out of this league on the basis we are simply not consistent and able to put a run together! Unfortunately whilst we keep applauding the managers soundbites he will continue to get free hits!

ImAbeliever added 19:16 - Nov 13
Parking was a nightmare though so don’t know what impact 28k will have. Atmosphere was great again. Onwards and upwards

Bert added 19:19 - Nov 13
Oxford’s behaviour towards the end of the second half resembled a team who had given up any chance of winning so decided to sit it out in more ways than one. Never seen a goalkeeper with cramp before !

ImAbeliever added 19:19 - Nov 13
Listened to PC on way back and felt he gave a very sound appraisal, and quite articulate.

Linkboy13 added 19:20 - Nov 13
Oxford done a good job of stopping our main attacking threats Bonne and Burns. I wouldn't include Edwards as one of our attacking threats exciting to watch but never any end product or more importantly goal threat. Earlier in the season we would have lost this game but the defence and goalkeeper situation seems to have sorted itself out.

ImAbeliever added 19:23 - Nov 13
Linkboy…agree - Walton really starting to look the business.

pennblue added 19:33 - Nov 13
We are definitely a top six side now, no doubt about it. The question now is how do we become a top two side so we win games like today.

Is it more time on the training pitch or. Further strengthening required? Difficult to say as the defence were excellent today as was the goalkeeper.

I think we did not win today as we were not quite 100% commitment, we
Need to really want it more than they do in these matches and that means 1st the ball, closing down and winning the 2nd balls. We did not do this enough today.

Lathers added 19:35 - Nov 13
We didn’t touch the ball for the first 20 mins but it was pretty even by half time. 2nd half we dominated them and kept them in their half and should have found a way to score. Celina couldn’t pick a pass today and the Burns/Donacian right wing combo was slow and obvious and didn’t really work. Would have liked to have seen Burns at RB and Aluko ahead of him as the 2nd half went on. Oxford did look dangerous on the counter in the last 15 mins, in between their players constantly going down with cramp. Actually a decent game tbf despite the 0-0 and my 6 hour round trip from Surrey.

Bazza8564 added 19:35 - Nov 13
Clements looks like hes been playing at this level for ages, and as for Oxfords theatrics and time wasting, take it as a complement. They wont get away with that at home, we'll batter them there !!

ArnieM added 19:40 - Nov 13
Had Oxford hit our post twice people would have said we were lucky to get a point today. So let’s give our team credit for the way we’ve played against the form team. They bossed it for 20mins in the first half, and we could have been 2-0 up, not them!

After that they did sod all against us, and had to resort to gamesmanship tactics to secure their point. WE were the better side 9ver the 96mins, not them!

Suffolkboy added 19:42 - Nov 13
PC admits to bias - and why not ? But it shouldn’t disguise or deflect from cold objective analysis that the ‘old ‘ shortcomings still exist ; it shouldn’t be only the ‘ flair ‘players expected to see the game home ! For years and years ITFC have needed goals to come from the mid- field and from set pieces ,and I submit we still do .
More than a few recognise certain players with no ‘end product ‘ : at professional level such weaknesses ought to show signs at least of improvement and elimination for the good and benefit of not only the team, but in our case , more and better goal scoring opportunities arising and taken !
Lots going in the right direction , still some to do but well done ITFC !

poringlandblue added 19:44 - Nov 13
A draw was a fair result, Oxford played some nice football first half, winning most of the second balls, we huffed and puffed but never got going bar the couple of chances. Much better second half but we don’t test the keeper enough for my liking. Clements excellent debut, burns very quiet, one of Nsialas slips is going to cost us a goal soon and his distribution is not good. For me Evans doesn’t do enough in midfield, doesn’t win many tackles, gives it away too much and doesn’t drive forward, more work rate required. Not impressed with Oxfords time wasting and play acting. Bonne worked hard and won his share of aerial battles.

Dear_oh_Dear added 19:52 - Nov 13
Try starting your best players and we might have. Edwards is a joke

ChrisFelix added 22:23 - Nov 13
Edwards flatters to deceive, good on the ball but sadly no end product. If only he could make that final pass to a player in blue. Chaplin is a much better option.
Defensively today we were very solid & Oxford never looked like scoring

DavefromWatford added 23:11 - Nov 13
I agree with ChrisFelix, should have had Celina on left with Chaplin at No 10. Maybe Cook should have changed system on the hour to possibly 442 & give Piggot another run out.

JewellintheTown added 23:26 - Nov 13
Little steps & still reasonably early days but if we can't comfortably beat teams like Oxford at home no matter how relatively well they're performing in the league, it wouldn't bode well against stronger teams we'd face if we got back into the Championship.
Still, better than last season though.

ringwoodblue added 23:48 - Nov 13
Just seen Cook’s interview on EFL on Quest and that’s probably the best interview I’ve seen him do since becoming our manager and I couldn’t disagree with anything he said.

He mentioned the Jan transfer window so if we can stay in contention until then, hopefully we can strengthen the squad again for the final push to secure a playoff place.

There’s one thing for sure, being a Town fan is certainly exciting these days.

cat added 08:00 - Nov 14
Honest assessment from P.C but I’m happy with a point against a very well organised footballing side. Okay they hardly covered themselves in credit towards the end but they appeared almost scared of us. Great stuff from Bailey and the defence, beginning to get a more solid feel from the back lads. Great afternoon out and over 21k in attendance and with a bit of consistency and momentum building we are progressing nicely.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 08:20 - Nov 14
I don't think we deserved to win - morally, maybe because of Oxford's blatant time-wasting tactics, but in terms of play I think we got what we deserved: a draw. We still need to find that little extra spark/threat/bite to beat teams like this if we are to at least get into the playoffs. COYB!

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