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Cook: Mentality and Attitude Can't Change Whoever We're Playing
Friday, 19th Nov 2021 11:20

Town boss Paul Cook says players’ mentality and attitude can’t be different whether they’re facing Sunderland at the Stadium of Light tomorrow or League One's smaller clubs such as Accrington or Cheltenham.

“I don't call it a big game because when you're in leagues, that's how you win or lose games,” Cook said.

“If you turn up at Accrington and Cheltenham and you don't feel it's a big game, you lose. If you turn up at Portsmouth or Wycombe and think it's a big game, you've won.

“The reality is it's a game. Now the fixtures will always tell you it's a different type of game, of course, it is going to the Stadium of Light, without doubt a Premier League stadium, Sunderland are a Premier League club without a shadow of a doubt.

“So, it is a different game, but the mentality and your attitude towards the game can't be different and that's where you've got to get lads on a level field.

“It's a big game for our supporters, it's a big game for our players, for myself and it's a big game for Sunderland.

“Sunderland won't have any problem motivating themselves for Ipswich and that's something that us managers, I'm sure [Sunderland boss] Lee [Johnson] and [Doncaster manager] Darren Moore and managers of other clubs that are expected to do well, every time we take to the field, it's a cup final for the opposition.

“We saw that at Cambridge the other week, we only get three points, so that brutal truth is your mentality towards every game has to be consistent and the same.”

Asked whether it suits his team more to play against the better sides who are more likely to take the game to them rather than clubs who might just sit back, Cook said: “There are different ways to play a game of football and the challenges for the successful teams is to overcome whatever comes in front of them.

“We've just really had difficulty with Oldham over two games who played a different formation than most [3-4-1-2]. And it's a formation that passing teams will struggle to play against because of the areas they block on a pitch where you want to pass.

“So every game is different, every game is a challenge and I think one of the pleasing things for both Lee and myself going into the game is the knowledge that both teams will be more interested in winning than stopping the other team from playing. The reality is you'll normally get a good game.

“[Now I’ve said that] probably at five o'clock, and I hope not, you'll be writing about a 0-0 bore that bored the life out of all the fans!

“What it brings, it brings, and again the preparation then starts for Rotherham, and it's that same cycle where at the end of the season the best teams will be promoted, and the rest will be in the play-offs and the rest will fight for what's left.”

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VanDusen added 11:56 - Nov 19
Fair enough - every game is big if it means we're getting promoted come end of the season.

Btw - Darren Moore's Sheffield Weds manager now, not Doncaster.

Bazza8564 added 14:23 - Nov 19
In my experience this season we've been better adjusted mentally for the bigger games anyway.

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