Cook: Performance Against Rotherham Everything I Dislike About a Team
Friday, 26th Nov 2021 10:53
Boss Paul Cook admitted that Tuesday’s performance as the Blues were beaten 2–0 at home by Rotherham United was “everything I dislike about a team” and that his side’s inconsistency continues to be their consistency.
Asked how close fans are to seeing a Paul Cook team in full flow, the Town manager responded “It’s a really good question. I think you always have to be careful because, at some point, our start is going to handicap us and whenever you have a performance like we did on Tuesday night, we’ll then look back and make excuses for why we were so bad.
“Tuesday night came on the back of probably one of our better performances of the season at the Stadium of Light, without a shadow of a doubt.
“But our inconsistency this year has been our consistency and that is a big, big disappointment.
“Tuesday night was a really, really disappointing night for us as a team. Again, you must pay the opposition respect and it’s for us to sit here sometimes and go ‘We were this, we were that’.
“We have to find consistency. For our supporters to want to trust us, we have to find consistency. And even if you go back to the Oldham at home game in the FA Cup, that probably summed us up where we were at that point in time.
“Four days previous we left Wycombe [having won 4-1] and everyone sees Wycombe, Rotherham, Wigan and Plymouth, these are the top teams in the division, make no bones about it, Sunderland as well. And we’re walking into them and everyone can have an opinion.
“My opinion is I’m still searching to put that team on the pitch that I trust, the supporters trust and even the players probably themselves trust.
“So, Tuesday night was really, really disappointing. I fully agreed with any supporter. It was everything I dislike about a team, everything I dislike. But that comes off the back of Sunderland where, especially in the first half, it was everything I liked about a team.
“So I’m not different than our supporters, very, very frustrating, very hard to take, very disappointing, but as we go out this morning to train the emphasis is on culture, habits and trust, and they are big words in football, they are massive.
“If you think you’re going to develop a culture, habits and trust over 19 league games then you’re better than me, you’re a lot better than me.
“If you see the Rotherham side, using them as an example, habits, culture and trust, wow, every box ticked. And that’s something we’re searching for, something that we want to get right, and we hope to get right, we need to get right.
“So, it goes on and you know our messages from staff are consistent on how we want to play - front foot, aggressive, play forward, crosses in the box and penetration.
“On Tuesday night, we were the opposite adjective of every single one of them. As to why, I don’t know. As to how we fix it, I do know and it is my job to do that.”
Might developing the habits, culture and trust take longer than some fans might have been anticipating?
“Again, you see football today and we all love football, and we all know what goes on,” Cook continued. “How long does it take to build a good football club? And that’s the question sometimes probably for other people to answer.
“My messages are consistent. I want to be the best team on the pitch and I want us to play off of the front foot. I want us to play forward.
“If you watched us on Tuesday night, all we did was play sideways and back. As a coach and a manager, I’m like you and every fan in the stadium, I don’t get it.
“And it’s something that at every club I’ve been at I’ve probably faced times of it and thank God that at every club I’ve been at, I’ve solved it. Hopefully at Ipswich, the outcome will be exactly the same.
“But for the players, myself and everyone, it’s hard work, it’s work ethic, it’s desire, it’s habits, it’s when we get the ball why do we play sideways? Why do we have a free-kick on the halfway line and it ends up back at Christian Walton?
“I’m a supporter, and I don’t want to see it back at Christian Walton. I want to see it going forward, and that’s something that we’re still working on and still trying to ingrain into the players.”
Is that confidence? Bravery? “I think it’s just habits. I think again we go back to culture, habits and trust. And if you look, that’s all I try and create at every club I’ve been at.
“Create the correct culture for working hard, to going on the pitch to playing forward. I would rather a positive pass forward than a negative pass backwards all the time.
“At our best, we do it really well and at our worst, like Tuesday night, without a shadow of a doubt, we looked as bad as you can.
“And I think that’s when you have to look at the opposition and go, ‘Yeah, that’s a benchmark of where we want to be’.
“As a team, their whole identity was clear to see, their desire to win the game was clear to see, their energy to run forward was clear to see, and that’s where we are aspiring to be as Ipswich Town Football Club.”
Looking back at the last five league performances, Plymouth, Wycombe, Oxford, Sundereland and Rotherham, Cook was asked if it was only the display against the Millers which disappointed him.
“I’ll always try and be an honest manager,” he reflected. “I don’t believe in the opposite side of it. Tuesday night was the only game that we’ve been flattened in.
“We should have got something at Plymouth, come on guys, you can’t miss the chances we missed. At Sunderland it’s the same.
“The second half against Oxford, Oxford’s only intention was to go down with cramp and break the game up to see it out. That’s football and eventually guys we will find the consistency, we will trust our players, the culture of our club is changing daily.
“The habits then for players must be how hard you from Monday to Friday determines the outcome of Saturday.
“As you can imagine, we’re about to embark on two very hard days of work in preparation for that game on Sunday that will see our supporters leave happy.
“And all you can do is keep making steps forward. Whenever you get a disappointment in this game, you must step forward again.
“As a manager, my only way is to do that. I don’t believe in anything other than being aggressive with your play, being forward with your play and being positive.
“And that was something on Tuesday night that was the most disappointing thing. As I say, I watched us have a free-kick on the halfway line and end up with the ball back with Christian Walton.
“And I think to myself ‘Wow!’. And again for the players, whether people perceive that as confidence, whatever people perceive that as, I perceive that as a lack of bravery.
“Make positive mistakes, be positive with your play. And it’s something that as a team when we’ve seen our highs, ie Wycombe and Portsmouth, which were magnificent wins, magnificent wins, no teams go there and scores the goals we have, but we’ve also seen the lows.
“And guys what we’ve got to find, and you know it more than anything, is that consistency, and that’s what we’re searching for.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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|Bazza8564 added 11:09 - Nov 26|
Well, its pretty clear Paul is angry with the same things we are, quickly taken free kicks that go backwards, lack of penetration, urgency etc etc. But hasnt that been said over and over again?
We will see Sunday whether this team of manager coaches and players has what it takes to take the quantum step forward that is urgently needed if we are to have any chance this season. I desperately hope so, there is no better feeling that when your team is on the up and you can see the progress and the results improving. Conversely, it feels like torture when it isn't, and at the moment we all feel that pain acutely.
So sunday we go again, we hive them everything from the stands we can in the hope they have the collective ability to rise above these failures, because failure for this group isn't an option if they are to save their own bacon.
Come on Cookie, lets get this thing rolling again before it's too late
|Juggsy added 11:15 - Nov 26|
Al angry maybe, but he is the one who needs to address it.
|terry_butchers_twin added 11:17 - Nov 26|
I felt that Paul Lambert was back in the dugout with a shaved head on Tuesday night. I can’t understand why they played as they did as they were all new recruits of Paul Cook? Surely though it’s up to the manager to instruct the team to play forwards in the same way many of the supporters were trying to encourage them to (although I would hope he would be politer about it!!)
|Arnie added 11:23 - Nov 26|
Freekicks going back to the keeper, small boys in the park, jumpers for goalposts, do we need Ron Manager to give Mr.Cook some advice? Hmmm ...
|grow_our_own added 11:49 - Nov 26|
Cook brings criticism upon himself. I think he generally has signedloaned well for L1, as is to be expected given our relative large resources, but he has made poor use of his squad. For the first third of the season, his goalkeeper was a slice of swiss-cheese, and for the recent big matches against teams that are (or should be) our promotion rivals, he selected a left back that was clearly not ready (note my name is Grow Our Own). I'm getting sick of bad managerial decisions ever since he arrived. Our form under Cook last season was nearly relegation. Nearly League Two, which would be the worst in the history of the club. This season it's mid-table. Just not good enough.
|PortmanTerrorist added 12:15 - Nov 26|
Somewhat relieved PC can see what we see e.g. re free kicks. However he promised that sort of lacklustre performance would never happen with Morsey in the team, but then he also promised we would never be out-run or want it less than any other team at the start of the season. All of that was blown away by Rotherham, who (by the way) performed exactly as their supporters all stated they would, and yet we looked surprised and inept.
We all want this to work for PC but as with recruitment generally, our new players have been hit and miss. We carry Evans most games, Burns is the only consistent winger, and we have no idea who our best full-backs are yet.....this is getting close to unacceptable when you have a fixed formation. Come on PC, at another Club your time might be up already, we are not so fickle but the clock is ticking now.
|arc added 12:23 - Nov 26|
I didn't see Tuesday's match, but I did see Saturday's, and all the "free kicks back to the keeper" stuff was happening then, and Cook thought it was a good performance. Saturday was discouraging rubbish, so I wasn't surprised by Tuesday at all.
Glad to hear urgency in his remarks now, though.
|DinDjarin added 12:28 - Nov 26|
Every chance they had Rotherham put the ball in the box and had 3 or players in there. We only ever had Bonne and sometimes he wasnt there as was being pulled wide.
They pressed us high, worked their socks off and negated Bonne. Basic football tactics. We cannot expect to impose 4231 on every team and need to be able to change formation mid game but seem unable to do so.
|BlueySwede added 12:34 - Nov 26|
Some good points from Cook. It´s not all about formations (as some supporters think), players need to do the simple things right. In order to score goals we need to get crosses in, take a chance with long range efforts...we do that, but in most games not nearly enough. Confidence? Lack of certain player attributes? We have looked excellent at times this season, we just need to do find consistency and a formula that works.
|terryf added 13:14 - Nov 26|
Well you picked the Team.
It was pretty obvious that without attacking full backs and the only winger we had on the bench there was no outlet.
Fraser is no left winger and Celina is no right winger.
The Team was disjointed with no tempo and Rotherham simply stifled our game. The stats proved that although we had more possession they used their time on the ball more effectively.
Surely if it's not working then the subs should have been brought on much earlier, probably at half time. We gave them nothing to think about. I felt sorry for Bonne as he was scrapping for balls out wide on his own.
If you don't sort it out and quickly Mr Cook our season will be over!!
|inghamspur added 13:21 - Nov 26|
Why is the Crewe game on a Sunday afternoon rather than Saturday?
|Cakeman added 13:29 - Nov 26|
Paul Cook is correct with his views, which I would think are shared by most supporters. At the beginning of the season although results weren’t great at least we gave it a good go. I don’t see that so much with our home performances of late.
We need to just go and give it a go and trust that we score more than we concede. Playing sideways and backwards will not allow that. It may be we will still lose some games but at least give it a good go.
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots but there are no old bold pilots!
|Orraman added 13:33 - Nov 26|
Backwards and sideways down to you Cook. You stand on the touch line and see this happening but do absolutely nothing to counteract the high press which Rotherham displayed. Your beloved 4-2-3-1 was obviously not working and as you are totally incapable of coming up with an alternative plan, we were swept aside. It was obvious by half time we were getting nowhere so what do you and your vastly overpromoted coaches do during the interval. Surely you must discuss alte4native tactics for the second half perhaps even inviting suggestions from the players, God forbid!!
As for Bonne on his own up front against three imposing centre halfs. As good and strong as Macauley is, he stood no chance against that, so every high ball pumped up to him came straight back towards us.
You come to press conferences and spout even more cr@p than Paul Lambert and a lot of your utterances are so garbled that it sometimes takes two or three readings to try to make sense of what you are saying. So not only do you not know what you are doing you are incapable of giving a clear and concise explanation of what you are doing. I am also fed up with you telling us how good every team is and how wonderful, great blokes their managers are. Be great if we could say that about our team and manager
|Jugsy added 13:35 - Nov 26|
Strong comments by Cook, consistent with what people had aired frustration at previously. Better noise from him than previous managers, he doesn't hide from the performances or comments. Modern football demands instant success far too much. We'd be better off getting onboard with giving Cook's revolution time because lest we forget, many of the signings cited Cook as the reason for coming. Are all those professionals in the wrong too? Whilst I don't agree with everything he does (let's face it, no-one can get it right all the time) this has been way better football than we've had in recent seasons. You don't go to Wycombe and Portsmouth and demolish them by getting it occasionally right. But then you've got to own it when you've got it wrong, which it feels he admits with Rotherham. Would love them to punch a few holes in scoreboard against Crewe and get the winning feeling back. Anyone know why it's on Sunday?
|Churchman added 14:07 - Nov 26|
Talk is cheap Cook. Your team, your players at a club with more resources than the vast majority. It down to you that your team is sagging into lower mid table. It and you should be doing better, regardless of how long you think it takes to install good habits.
If you think you can install desire and bravery, forget it. You have that in you or you don’t. If you are saying your players don’t have it, you’ve signed the wrong players.
|carlo88 added 14:20 - Nov 26|
I think I've stopped believing in anyone who keeps saying 'without a shadow of a doubt'.
|Dear_oh_Dear added 14:24 - Nov 26|
Really boring. Anyone can see this guy's not up to it....
|Drifter3012 added 16:21 - Nov 26|
It is very disconcerting when the manager has no idea why the players are not following the "script."
Reading this interview it is not clear who is managing this team now.
Cook does seem to be a manager who wants to be everyone's friend and keep them all happy. For me that was Lambert's problem too.
Modern football needs a manager who is willing to swing the axe at times otherwise some players seem happy to put in as little effort as possible in the knowledge they will keep their place.
Not sure Cook can be Mr Nasty when he needs to be.
|Kickingblock added 16:23 - Nov 26|
I believe that moving the match to Sunday was a decision taken by the club to "be different"? A bit more recouping time for the players.
Does this mean that some people who can't get to the match can watch it on ifollow as it's not a 3pm Saturday fixture?
|Kickingblock added 16:27 - Nov 26|
Oh, and please can someone go back to Wickham and pick up the teams mojo. I figure that they left it behind in the away dressing room as it hasn't been seen since.
|blueboy1981 added 20:05 - Nov 26|
Cook talks the right game, we can see that - but at the end of the day it is his responsibility to put the talk into results.
I think it’s fair to say that some players he expected more from are letting him down, if such players are not good enough after all, then they have to be moved out or on, and replaced.
Another couple of poor results and we all know where we could be … !!!
We all know from previous experience that sideways and backwards Football does not win points - we’ve seen enough of that in the past.
A few more currently wearing the Shirt need to grow a pair, in my opinion, somewhat lightweight in both character and committment … !!!
|blueboy1981 added 20:16 - Nov 26|
One more thing you have to prove PC - is that you are tactically aware enough to change what is required, and to have a Plan B.
At the moment you are as rigid as a broomstick with your ‘team formation’ - and far too easy to suss out. Managers must now be relishing the thought of playing against you and ‘your’ team !!
|ThaiBlue added 20:32 - Nov 26|
Locook just go poor signings your team you built with poor tactics.dont matter to be fair the result v crewe to much damage already done.really dont think the players enjoy playing gor cook.
|ThaiBlue added 20:40 - Nov 26|
Sorry on some of the spelling,phone is playing up like cook.
|bluesince76 added 21:04 - Nov 26|
13th division 3 nearly nearly Christmas no game changer there.
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