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Sunderland 2 v 0 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 20th November 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Cook: We Fully Deserved Something Out of the Game
Saturday, 20th Nov 2021 18:27

Town boss Paul Cook felt his side deserved to take something out of their 2-0 defeat at Sunderland having played very well and having had chances in the first half.

An 85th-minute header from Luke O’Nien and a controversial Aiden McGeady penalty saw the Black Cats to a victory which looked very unlikely for most of the 90 minutes.

“We played well, we played very well in the game, we controlled the game for long, long spells, I didn’t feel we were in any trouble in the game and we’re on the end of a 2-0,” Cook reflected.

“You’ve got to say well done to Sunderland, football’s about results and Sunderland have got the result, so you respect that.”

Asked about the penalty, which was awarded after a Ross Stewart shot struck Toto Nsiala, Cook said: “I’m not going to talk about it, there’s no point, there’s no point, the game’s finished, Sunderland have won 2-0. Crying and whingeing’s not going to help me, is it?

“We had chances to be in the lead, we had chances to be in the ascendancy, we controlled the game as we wanted to. I felt we played very, very well and unfortunately we haven’t got the result. So we say well done to Sunderland and we move on.”

Was the final ball the issue? “It wasn’t in the first half, was it? Especially when we had big moments.

“Second half, I felt the game petered out, if I’m being truthful, where Sunderland were sitting very, very deep. They were happy probably to let us have the ball in areas. We didn’t really look like opening them up, we stopped getting it wide and getting good crosses in.

“And obviously then we’ve ended up on a 2-0 where obviously the goal is the goal, but the penalty decision lads, you couldn’t make it up, could you?

“We’re disappointed with the result, we really, really are because we fully deserved something out of the game, but that’s football, isn’t it?”

Quizzed on whether he has spoken to the match officials, Cook said he hadn’t but cited a first-half incident when Macauley Bonne was punched twice in an incident as Sunderland prepared to take a corner.

“No, there’s no point,” he said. “There is no point, there’s an incident in the first half where one of our players is punched twice. Clear as anything and they don’t see it. There are four of them there, yet he manages to give a penalty that everyone in the stadium was shocked at.

“It is what it is, the referees do their best, there’s no criticism towards the referee. I just in felt those moments that came round they could have done better but there you go.”

Asked whether he feels his side will win more than they lose if the play as they did against the Wearsiders, he added: “Really disappointed because we’ve had good travelling support, we wanted to get a good positive result for our supporters and our club that would see us get in a better position.

“We’ve played quite well today and unfortunately sometimes you don’t get what you deserve, and I’ve been around football long enough to know that if we keep playing like that we won’t have a problem, that’s for sure.”

Cook says Wes Burns missed out having picked up an injury which will sideline him beyond today: “Wes has got a slight hamstring problem from Tuesday night, which is obviously disappointing because it’ll keep him out for a short period of time.”

But the Welshman’s replacement, Sone Aluko, did well on the right of midfield. “Again, we can go through the team and unfortunately for us by the time you break it down we’ve lost the game 2-0,” Cook continued.

“So you can’t be saying ‘Well done’ and patting people on the back. Could we have done a lot more to win the game? I don’t feel we could.

“Were we looking comfortable in the game? Yes, I felt we were and unfortunately we’ve lost, and that’s football.

“I’ve been around it long enough to know you have to take your medicine, we say well done to Sunderland, it’s a long, long season and we’ve got to come back stronger.”

Let alone frustrated to lose, would Cook have been frustrated to draw? “It’s footie. We were frustrated, you’re trying to make a sub or two where you feel we could get more energy on, have we got goals on the pitch? Could we help our team?

“If someone had said to me on 85 or 86 minutes you’d lose the game 2-0 I think I’d have fallen over because I never saw it coming. I never saw it, I felt we were in control of the game.

“We had a lot of possession, albeit in the second half without really looking like scoring but we had big chances in the first half and you’ve got to take your chances, that’s football.”

If one of the first half chances which fell to Bersant Celina had gone in, would that have changed the game? “With the greatest respect, Sunderland would have had to come on to us, the fans demand that here, whereas they were happy to sit off us and let us have possession and at 0-0 I think everyone’s happy with that.

“If we were 1-0 up, I’m not so sure the supporters here would accept that. There might have been more spaces for us to penetrate, unfortunately there weren’t.

“We’ve got great respect for Sunderland, for Lee, for Macca, all the lads here. We’ve lost the game, we have manners and we move on as disappointing as it is.”

Town have now gone two league games without a goal, but Cook says he was similarly pleased with the performance in the 0-0 home draw with Oxford last week.

“I was happy with us last week against Oxford in the second half I thought we played really, really well,” he said.

“Unfortunately you’re always trying to put every piece to a jigsaw and the hardest one as everybody knows it he final one, which is the goals and the finishing.

“But we had chances today, we haven’t come here and just dominated the ball and not looked a threat. In the first half we’ve had big moments and as a visiting team you’re away from home you always know every team has a chance, every team gets an opportunity.

“Sunderland’s were very restricted especially in the second half where territorially they didn’t really bother us, but unfortunately we’ve succumbed. So we say well come to Sunderland and move on.”

Surprisingly, after such a smash and grab victory, Sunderland boss Lee Johnson felt it was one of his side’s best displays of the campaign.

“I think it was one of our best performances” he insisted. “It wasn’t Ajax or Barcelona in their heyday, but we hassled and harried.

“It wasn’t champagne football, we had to deal with their quality but everybody stayed concentrated.”

He added: “I thought it was a tough game for both teams. Ipswich, when their two central midfielders roll out into those pockets they get a lot of control, and they're very good at it.

“But I always felt we could be dangerous when we won the ball back and played a good first pass. It probably wasn't good enough, often enough.

“First twenty minutes we were poor, we had a gameplan and we didn't administer it, but after that I was pretty pleased.

“They had control in the second half, but it's what you do with the ball and we've seen that ourselves this season.

“There's the odd giveaway and I think it was a good League One game that we’ve edged based on that counter-attacking ability.

“Ipswich are a very good side, a really good professional organisation who will be right up there. To get a win, after the recent run we've had, is really important for us and the project.”

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Garv added 18:40 - Nov 20
If we played as well as has been suggested and just didn't take our chances, I don't think you can heap too much blame on Cook.

Disappointing but not disastrous. Long way to go.

pennblue added 18:41 - Nov 20
Agreed we did not deserve to lose that game. But we need a reaction on Tuesday night, and more importantly, we need 3 points, and that is going to be a tough game of football.

ringwoodblue added 18:45 - Nov 20
Sorry Cookie, a 33% win percentage (this season) is nay good enough. (Ahem) We won’t mention last season!

cat added 18:45 - Nov 20
Defeats hurt but it’s the manner of a loss what matters and today the performance appears to be there but it just didn’t go for us. You have to take your moments in games and if you don’t (like on many occasions this season) you get mugged. Not a day to bash the staff imo!

Suffolkboy added 18:45 - Nov 20
No good feeling anything , no good talking through what might have been ; we’ve got to emphasise our strengths and ability by EARNING the victories and scoring the goals — and not conceding too often in the second half !
Get a grip ,change the results !

Drifter3012 added 18:50 - Nov 20
Sadly it is games like this when a manager needs to show his skill. With a team there for the taking the start of the 2nd half was the time for Cook to change things up. However there doesn't seem to be a plan B in Cook's play book.
The team also need work on set plays. We fail to capitalise on the corners/free kicks we get and often struggle to defend those against us.
There is still a lot of work to do and a priority must be to get the lads training on a plan B. Giving Bonne & Piggot 30 minutes together today in a 4 4 2 could have made the difference.
But we move on.
I hope Cook finds a winning team on Tuesday.

sally added 18:50 - Nov 20
Cook is not good enough just look at his results. Appalling!!!

Lathers added 19:00 - Nov 20
I’m a big fan of the changes going on at the club and believe that better days are ahead, but atm we haven’t got to a place where we know how to grind out wins in games we dominate. At Plymouth, last Saturday and today as examples. Until PC sorts this issue we are going to struggle to make up the ground on the Play Offs. I still question whether we need Morsy AND Evans holding. I think we’d be better balanced and a far greater threat with Morsy sitting in front of the back 4 and Pigott playing up top with Bonne.

jas0999 added 19:00 - Nov 20
Great first half, but did we do enough second? Sounds all too familiar. On good half. One poor one. Goals win games. We have heard this multiple times under Cook ‘should’. Should have won at Cambridge. The list goes on.

bedsitfc added 19:00 - Nov 20
When you aspire to appoint a league 2 manager you get league 2 tactics.

Cook has been given a free hand it being able to do what he likes which in turn has given him every chance of success but he is failing us!

Earn your money Ashton as cook is making all your hard work in acquiring good players fruitless

Europablue added 19:05 - Nov 20
Sunderland deserved to win because they scored twice and we failed to capitalise on our dominance. We need to start playing worse and winning games! I'd much rather be Sunderland after that result.

ArnieM added 19:05 - Nov 20
1) Possession doesn’t win games, goals do…

2) Drop Edwards and Celina ( both are ineffective ), and bring in Fraser and Chaplin

3) Rest Bonne and bring in Pigott for a run of games. He scored 20goals + last season, so he’s proven.


arc added 19:14 - Nov 20
We didn't deserve it because we didn't score. And barely looked like doing so.

But Johnson is out of his mind. They were dreadful

blueboy1981 added 19:19 - Nov 20
But the reality is Mr Cook we got nothing once again - it’s becoming an all too familiar trait unfortunately.
Goals win Games - ‘deserving something’ means nothing, and yields nothing - as we all are becoming familiar with.
Sometimes a No.2 is of immense value, to look at the game differently and it can work wonders - you appeared to have had such previously in a certain Mr Richardson.
Is that now the ‘missing link’ ? - because we are so close, but falling short, almost by the game and week now.
Whatever it is - you have the Club, the Owners, and fantastic support behind you - least of all all your chosen Squad of Players.
What more help can / do you need ??
Whatever, you must know that ‘actual results’ have to improve, because of all the above in you favour … !!!

Saxonblue74 added 19:30 - Nov 20
Here we go again, a result doesn't go our way and we're doomed! A decent performance but a result that doesn't match, just like carrot Rd today the best team came second. "Should have played him here", "should have played this formation", "should have made that substitution". We're still a team on form, and take a look at our fixture list for the new year onwards, a great run in on the cards at a time when it really counts. I'm still looking forward to Norwich home and away next season.

TimmyH added 19:53 - Nov 20
Something is a miss Paul if we keep missing out on points...I could name numerous times this season we've come away when we should have got a point or a win but not often you can say the reverse...

cat added 19:55 - Nov 20
Cmon blueboy get a grip lol. You can’t go blaming the no2 when we lose. You claim to be a football man but do don’t appear to ‘get’ how football goes sometimes and how it has a habit of kicking you in the nuts no matter what you do! Today was one of them away days, but generally we are moving in the right direction and as them up top say “it will take time and patience”.

TimmyH added 20:01 - Nov 20
@saxonblue74 - we're not that successful against the smaller sides either (Burton, Cheltenham, Accrington, failed to beat Morecambe, Wimbledon I could go on) so you can't count your chickens in the New Year and add to the fact ITFC are notoriously worse playing the second half of the season for years now under various managers.

churchmans added 20:01 - Nov 20
Dissapointing result! We lose to many games! 7pts off playoff and miles off automatic! Hopefully playoffs after boxing day

FrankMarshall added 20:02 - Nov 20
Oh well. Life and football goes on. Need some decent results asap or we will start to see this season slip away from us.

Europablue added 20:16 - Nov 20
We're going to have a great second half of the season because we had a poor first half, it's just the opposite way round;)

HUTCHITFC added 20:16 - Nov 20
I watched the full 90 of this match and as the game carried on and we continued to dominate but fail to take advantage of some decent chances to score i kept saying to my kids we will end up losing this game I just knew it. As much as I now feel gutted and have that empty feeling in my stomach at the end of this match I must remind myself to remain positive because we played really well and the luck that is needed in football from time to time just wasn't on our side today.
I just hope that the amazing support we have at the moment continues. This is my biggest worry. A couple of defeats and fans think we are s**t but please keep the faith because I could hear every single one of you at the ground today and you all should be proud of yourselves for the support you gave. Luck just wasn't on our side today but please keep the faith and acknowledge that we played really well.

blueboy1981 added 20:16 - Nov 20
Cat - fact is some of you have in the past, and always will, be satisfied with anything.
An excuse for failure in anything ,not just Football, is the easiest option of all.
Whatever you say - Scoring goals and Clean sheets WIN Football Matches, and yield points - excuses don’t.
There’s been plenty of excuses associated with this Club over the years / seasons - but they have been eliminated with recent moves and restructure of the Club.
Now they have to STOP as will be found out with time.

Saxonblue74 added 20:17 - Nov 20
TimmyH, historically correct but we're not that team such these days. No counting of chickens for sure, but feel I need the same positive mentality as the travelling blue army of which we should be proud.

Eddie1985 added 20:20 - Nov 20
We are going to need to hit an extremely rich vein of form to get anyway near whete we should be in the league. Paul cook has done well at previous clubs but seems to have lost his way and is underachieving which happens to managers but we cant afford for him to do it on our time. He would be cut more slack if hadn't hand picked the squad but he needs to up his game.... Fast

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