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Ipswich Town 2 v 1 Crewe Alexandra
SkyBet League One
Sunday, 28th November 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Cook: One of the Most Special Goals I've Ever Seen
Sunday, 28th Nov 2021 18:36

Boss Paul Cook hailed Bersant Celina’s first-half injury-time chip, which proved the winner in Town's 2-1 victory over Crewe Alexandra, as one of the most special goals he has ever seen.

The Kosovan’s brilliant effort added to an early Luke Offord own goal to give the Blues a 2-0 half-time lead with Chris Long pulling one back for the Railwaymen in the second half.

Town started like a house on fire but the final minutes ended up nervy for Town, who missed chances and allowed Crewe, who remain bottom, to have opportunities of their own.

Cook admitted that in the early stages it looked like it was going to be a comfortable win for his team.

“As a manager, I watch the games no differently than our supporters and we are what we are,” he said. “This is the team that we’ve got and I know fans will ask why one or two other people weren’t playing and I get it, I do really get it.

“But you’re trying to build confidence, you’re trying to put lads back out there to go again. We wanted to play much more aggressively because, like I said to the players, if we send the supporters to sleep, it’s our job to wake them up.

“And the only way you’ll wake them up is by creating chances, putting crosses in the box and scoring goals, and we looked like we wanted to do it.

“But then we just look like we want to stop. Why would you get tired of being good at what you’re doing? But that’s we’re at with these players.

“You knew the third goal in the game was always going to be a big goal because it’s going to dent one team’s confidence and Crewe never went away all game.

“Crewe were exceptionally good today, they play with an identity and a style that’s great credit to [manager] Dave [Artell] and his staff

“You’d never know their league position and they put us unbelievable pressure where at the end we were hanging on, but we’ve won.”

Where does that inconsistency within games stem from? “We can only give them messages, we can only send them out. I think you’d think it was something that we’re trying to tell them.

“I think we’re now 20 games in, I think the consistency is our inconsistency and that’s probably something that we’re going to have to manage for a period of time.”

Regarding the game’s highlight, Celina’s goal, Cook said: “What a goal, it’s a goal that should win any game, that can lift up any stadium. I think people should be talking about it for a long time.

“Bersant’s got that quality. That was why we were all excited to sign him, all excited to bring him back in and obviously it’s lit the game up today and great credit to Bersant for that.”

He added: “I think that’s what everyone should leave the stadium speaking about. I think today it was always going to be a bit of nervy game, you’re playing a team that’s bottom of a league that everyone expects you to beat.

“You’ve seen Crewe play today, Crewe are no duck eggs, Crewe are a very well-drilled, well-coached team and you get a moment from Santi on the stroke of half-time.

“I’ve been in lots of stadiums all through my life and that’s one of the most special goals I’ve ever seen.

“An unbelievable goal. I remember Steven Gerrard scoring one against Middlesbrough at Anfield years ago when he’s just hit a missile from about 45 yards.

“Today when Santi got it, like the crowd I’m thinking ‘Take it into the corner and we’ll go in 1-0’ because that was where we were at. And he just produces that moment of magic that only probably he in the team has got. Unbelievable, a fantastic goal.”

Cook also had praise for Sone Aluko, who returned to the team having missed the Rotherham match following his father’s death and created Offord’s third-minute own goal.

“Sone’s had a tough week obviously, he’s missed a bit of training so we always felt he might be a little bit leggy,” the Blues manager continued. “But he always gives us moments of magic, Sone. Again he’s a quality player.

“We wanted that start to kick us on to have a really strong home win. OK, we’ve only had really one disappointing performance against Rotherham and that would have given us all a lift. We haven’t got that performance today but we’ve got the win.”

It wasn’t that Town didn’t have chances, on another day they might have had four or five: “The moments in games come and you must take them. For any striker, any player, any flair player, when the chances come, if you don’t put teams away, they will still [keep coming at you], especially in these divisions now where teams are so well coached. There are no easy games.

“Crewe will keep knocking on the door like they did and they’ll take a bit of a chance with their shape late on where they’ll throw men forward, and they did, and we were hanging on at the end.

“Like I just said to the players, at three o’clock today, the big objective was to win and come the end of the season no one will remember how you’ve won, like no one will remember how we lost at Sunderland last week.”

Macauley Bonne has now gone five games without a goal but Cook has no doubt the 11-goal top scorer will be back finding the target soon.

“Football’s football,” he reflected. “Macauley’s now going through that stage where probably as month ago everything he touched was gold. Now all of a sudden he’s trying too hard and that’s football.

“Macauley just needs to get his shirt on, go out and play again and score a goal, and that’s when confidence will flood back.”

Cook utilised Fraser as one of the deeper two midfielders: “Just trying to get Scotty more involved in the game, he’s one of our most productive players with the ball, certainly passing forward. We had a little look at that. At times we thought it worked well and at other times it didn’t.

“No different than everything we try, we’re trying aspects to see whether it’ll help us be better. Sometimes you feel it does and sometimes you feel it doesn’t.”

Asked how he felt on the bench in the final minutes, he said: “Antagonised, moaning, praying, everything you can do in a game because you never, ever got to the point where if we’d have put one of the chances away [you’d have felt safe].

“Probably Kyle Edwards, where he’d been on a great run and Kyle needs that moment, that would have just lifted the fans, we’d have seen two great goals.

“And those moments have to go your way. And I certainly believe we’ll keep working very hard and make sure that they do.”

Before the game Cook said he felt the players needed to give the fans a lift after the disappointing performance against Rotherham. Did the display against the Railwaymen do that?

“I think the supporters would have demanded a win before the game, I think it was important that we did win. Was the performance good enough to make us all leave happy? No, of course it wasn’t,” Cook admitted.

“But we’ve won. Again, as I keep saying, we’re 20 games in with a brand new squad. We all understand football, we more so than anyone understanding the rules of management and all that comes with it, but somewhere along the lines you have to give players time, managers time to grow that club because if we don’t unfortunately that’s the industry we’re in. Today it was a very, very scrappy win in the end, but it was a win.”

Looking ahead to Wednesday’s Papa John’s Trophy visit by Arsenal’s U21s, he added: “It’s a big week for us this week with three competitions.

“We want to do well in all competitions, it’s something that we suggested to the players, if we could put three wins together this week it would give everyone a lift around Portman Road going into Christmas and post-Christmas. We’ve done one hurdle and we’ve got two big ones to go.”

Crewe manager Artell felt his side deserved to take something from the match despite having given the Blues a two-goal start.

“I thought how we approached the game and how we played we were terrific and deserved something from the game,” he said.

“When you give them a two-goal start it’s even harder, however the fans have seen a team that’s trying to play the right way and we created numerous opportunities.

“I think that’s a credit to the players. I think they have been magnificent today.

“We know that if we keep playing like we’re playing, we are going to win games of football and we are going to keep developing.

“We’re developers, we’ve lost the game, we’re in the performance industry but I think the Crewe fans have probably gone away more happier than the Ipswich fans – apart from the result.”

Photo: TWTD

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Monkey_Blue added 18:45 - Nov 28
“We can only give them messages”!!! What? If that’s not throwing your hand picked squad under the bus I don’t know what is. Cook makes excuses but so often he’s excusing himself not the team. That’s not what a leader does. He’s out of his depth without Richardson.

Saxonblue74 added 18:45 - Nov 28
For all the criticism aimed at him he sees it just as us fans do. I'm sure the players are just not implementing the style he's trying to instill.

Wishing4arightback added 18:46 - Nov 28
Yes we did expect certain players to be given a chance, like Piggot. Unfortunately he's clearly not one of your mate like Evans so he gets no minutes.
Not only do you have no plan B on the pitch, but you are beginning to sound a bit like previous managers sputing rubbish and deflecting away from a few questions about your selection and shear stubbornness around tactic!

cressi added 18:51 - Nov 28
I'm afraid same things said every week
Still disjointed poor performance
Unless improvement Mr Cook
You are going to fall on your sword

BobbyBell added 18:55 - Nov 28
I'm beginning to wonder what or who exactly can motivate these players. They just seem to ease off time and time again.

Bazza8564 added 18:58 - Nov 28
Amazing that even after a win there are so many angry people about. The board will understand whats really going on and act accordingly.
I think Cooks assessment is fair, and I sit right behind him albeit a long way back and he was shouting his heart out today, clearly was less than happy with lots of elements.
Simple facts are we won, we should soon have Coulson and Burns back, We have a couple of games now to get Pigott into form, Carroll back and hopefully will have strong enough sides out to win both.
We have a lot to do in the second half of the season but we have some really good players, funds to invest in January so there is still a hell of a lot of football left. All the big teams have yet to come here bar Rotherham.
Much room for improvement but if we go to Charlton and Wigan and play like we can, no reason why we cant still compete.

cressi added 19:05 - Nov 28
What you say is semi correct
Cook has had about 40 games in total
Chucked the old team under the bus
Got in who he wanted but after 20 games we play one way only and cook has only one way of playing no plan B
Be interesting to see where this all goes with the new owners

TractorBeezer added 19:05 - Nov 28
Cookie, you have an army of coaches but you are the manager and need to brush up your motivational skills. We all want you to succeed.

Terra_Farma added 19:23 - Nov 28
The first touch was almost as delicate as the goal !!

brassy added 19:29 - Nov 28
div 1 manager div 1 players struggle to beat bottom of the league = div 1 next season

BeethorpeAndy added 19:31 - Nov 28
Pressure for our players. We won! Should of been more comfortable but wasnt. Get over it. A good month and we could be top six! I have supported this club for over fifty years. Unbelievable times and sad times. We are rebuilding and there is no magic fix. To play in such a great stadium, great fans, some of our lads have not had this before! Pressure! We all as fans want this club back where it belongs. This is just the start, but a nervy start. Lots at stake. I hate the sum but it may be two or three seasons before we play them sgain. But that day will come. We are IPSWICH TOWN,pride of east anglia and we won today!!! Two months ago we would of drawn 2-2! We won, have a beer and move on. Take care all blue lads and lasses.

midastouch added 19:34 - Nov 28

delias_cheesy_flaps added 19:35 - Nov 28
What mumbo-jumbo is Cook talking, Duck Eggs and Footballs Football? Is he taking lesson from BoJo!!

Nobbysnuts added 19:40 - Nov 28
Great goal but its got cook out of jail again....clueless idiot

Suffolkboy added 19:47 - Nov 28
Disturbing that PC ‘hides ‘ behind the identical ‘excuses ‘ or ‘explanations ‘ and utilises the fans viewpoint in ways which he hopes will chime with both they and the readers !
This Manager does not impress ; that’s not a situation anybody wishes to witness ,but both in the incapacity to motivate and coach ,and in the commentaries which lack direction and drive he epitomises mediocrity !
Change is needed in many aspects ; improvements are called for — excuses are no longer palatable !

Chris_Knights added 19:53 - Nov 28
A win is a win …. And very pleased with the result…. But let me tell you this team ain’t making the play offs …… not a chance … no one prepared to snap into a tackle, win a 50:50… fight when it’s necessary …. Today papered over massive cracks …

BeethorpeAndy added 20:07 - Nov 28
CHRIS KNIGHTS. NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THIS TEAM WILL DO..Any thing can happen. Ordinary against Oxford, poor against Oldham, slugged past Colchester, unlucky at Sunderland and out played by Rotherham! But, hammered Portsmouth and wycombe! Today, choked a little and got the win. Nothings perfect at the moment but don't rule out ANYTHING! We were and still are a great club and unfortunately smaller clubs raise their game against us. A break on Saturday. A good chance to score A few goal and make all loyal town fans smile. Take care all.

bedsitfc added 20:23 - Nov 28
The long cook is here the longer it will be before we are competitive

Monkey_Blue added 20:27 - Nov 28
BeethorpeAndy….it’s possible I’ll be dating Rita Ora next week… oh hang on, bad example, everyone’s dated her, but you get my point? Evidence tends to lead to the right conclusions. The fact that nearly half way through the season you can point to a couple of good results means what? Speak to the fans of pretty much every club In this league and they’ll point to the two or three or more games that are highlights of their first 20 games. We have the most expensively assembled squad in the division and are way behind what an average manager like lambert did with almost zero cash. A good manager gets more out of his players than expected. Cook is getting far less out of these players than expected. Managers without huge budgets and all the other advantages cooks had get sacked for better records than his at Ipswich.

BeethorpeAndy added 21:05 - Nov 28
MONKEY BLUE. Most of our freshly assembled expensive squad have never had the pressure they are under now. The stadium is now covered in glory day photos of Bobby and the great days the club has had. Lots of our new squad were stand out players at their old cubs, clubs with gates of 2-5000 per game, not 18-20000! PRESSURE! We now have a breather, two cup games to hopefully enjoy. Then push on in the league and fingers crossed be edging in to a top six spot come January. Take car mate and we will get there!

AlanG296 added 21:28 - Nov 28
You make a good point about pressure. Most of the players have come from clubs with lower expectations and have come to us for better money, to play in front of bigger crowds and in they think a better team. But it's only a better team if they perform to their level of ability, but on evidence at home this season they are not doing so. They can't cope with the pressure. Mentally weak. Appreciate there have been good away performances, which proves the point. The pressure in away games is on the home team.

suffolkblueeye added 21:43 - Nov 28
Unfortunately a one trick pony, needs to go, no excuse for last season, he should of used the players and tried to get into the playoffs before saying they were all rubbish…aim big, ex Spurs/wolves boss would do the job

Gforce added 23:09 - Nov 28
Suffolkblueeye......More chance of me sharing a hotel room with Nicole Kidman,than Nuno coming here !

churchmans added 00:20 - Nov 29
We aint going nowhere under cook! Piggot must wonder why he bothered signing!!
Most surrenderous qoute i have read is on the comments above! 'we have a good month we could make top6!! Jesus is that what our fans are ok to accept

Karlosfandangal added 00:28 - Nov 29
Bonne missed 2 sitters today. Would the comments be the same if we had won 4-1 think not.

Celina goal was brilliant

Town won………Just and Cook is right no one will remember how we played today. The Charlton and Wigan games are massive need to win those. For me it’s not 3 wins on the trot we need but 3 league wins on the trot.

Must go and read the Plymouth fans page now they have lost 3 on the trot, bet they are saying the manager is clueless too

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