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Cook: We Ended Up Losing a Game We Couldn’t Lose
Wednesday, 1st Dec 2021 23:19

Town boss Paul Cook was left frustrated that his side once again got themselves into pole position and let that situation slip as they were defeated by Arsenal’s U21s on penalties to exit the Papa John's Trophy, citing individual errors.

The Blues were two at half-time in front courtesy of Kayden Jackson’s first goals in almost a year and looked comfortably on their way through to round three. However, two Arsenal goals in four minutes turned the tie on its head and the North Londoners won the penalty shootout 4-3.

Asked whether anyone would have seen the Blues exiting the competition at the break, Cook said: “You’d be a fool to say you’d never [see that if you’d been] following and supporting us.

“A really disappointing night. I thought we worked hard on the game tonight. We know Arsenal have got a lot of quality players, but we got ourselves in the most fantastic position but we end up losing a game we can’t lose, but we did. And that’s the most disappointing thing.

“The reality is, what have we really learnt from a quarter to eight until half-past nine that we didn’t know before the game? Not a lot.

“There are areas where we clearly know we have to improve on and within that personnel around the club that might feel safe sometimes, but that’s not how it works at big clubs.”

What went awry in the second half? “I’m not going to start analysing the goals we’ve given away, there’s no point. I certainly won’t ever get after people, I don’t believe in that.

“Like a lot of games, we’ve got ourselves in a great position and we don’t have the ability to be durable, to be honest, to be workmanlike and just see a game out.

“It was a game that looked like you could not not see out, we were really in control of the game. We had a good reaction after Arsenal equalised, but it was a little bit too much, too late, wasn’t it?”

He added: “For Ipswich Town fans, for clubs that want to be successful, you have to win games. It’s disappointing that we go out on penalties, that’s the margin of games.

“But it was a game we should never have lost and unfortunately for us, and for our fans, that’s where we are at the minute.”

One of the positives was Jackson’s two goals, his first since the start of last December: “Outstanding. I said to the players before the game, ‘Make sure you give me a selection headache for Saturday and certainly there were lads within that starting line-up tonight that 100 per cent have. And there are lads who certainly have just cemented probably what I already knew.

“You can’t speak highly enough of Kayden. Kayden certainly is the big shining light from tonight, he should rightly get the plaudits.”

Could he play in the league this season? “I don’t want to start discussing all the different stuff after games, we’re going from game to game.

“We wanted a three-game winning week, we were desperate for it. Three home games, three different competitions and wanted three wins.

“Unfortunately tonight we haven’t delivered it, it just puts us under that little bit more pressure to make sure we win on Saturday.”

Cook says there were players who gave him something to think about before Saturday’s home FA Cup tie against Barrow.

“Without a shadow of a doubt,” he said. “There are qualities within the team that we’re lacking at the minute and there were qualities out there tonight that would certainly help the first team.

“Tonight, that’s what we’re working [on]. We are a work in progress, I get sometimes the disgruntlement, I get it, 100 per cent, I feel it.

“Everyone wants to finish a race quickly and it’s just not like that. Sometimes it does take time, it does take what we’re trying to do. Within that you’ve got to manage disappointment and I’m well prepared to manage that.”

He continued: “You know yourselves, you know against Crewe when it got nervy, same again tonight. We make games nervy, we give ourselves problems in games we shouldn’t.

“We’re not under great pressure, we’re not getting pinned back and clearing it off the line. We have massive individual errors that keep costing us and until we change the individuals at times, then the individual errors won’t change.”

Is that something a manager can’t do anything about? “I wanted to genuinely say to one of our fans, the minute the Arsenal goal went in, they shouted at me. And I actually shouted ‘What about shouting at one of the players?’, which is natural.

“But I will always take it for the team, I always carry that. I’m sorry, I’m only be a little bit jovial, if I’m being truthful.

“When you want to be good, you’ve got to have a steeliness about you and an edge that you must carry. And unfortunately at the moment, we don’t carry that.”

He added: “Listen guys, we’re in the middle, like a lot of clubs, of wanting to get better and wanting change.

“We’ve made 11 changes tonight. Again we’ve put a team on the pitch that we felt was good enough, no different than a lot of stuff that we see.

“Yes, we’re in the position, we’re in pole position and we give the position up. And it’s something that when you try and create a winning culture and a winning habit [which will happen again]. Will we be in the lead again in games? Yes. Will we have to see them out? Hopefully so.”

He says the narrative of the game illustrates Town as they are at present: “It’s football today for us. It’s where we’re at. I think sometimes the fans and everyone probably thought we’d have one window and it would be magic.

“But when you’re trying to build a club and you want to go on and you want to be stronger and stronger, I think it’s clearly obvious that we’re going to need more time.

“But that’s something that supporters mightn’t accept and you feel our fans getting a little bit disgruntled. And I understand it, I’ve got no problem with it. But we haven’t got a magic wand that’s for sure.”

Reflecting on the positives, such as Tom Carroll’s return after just over a month out with a hip flexor problem, Cook said: “We had some good performances tonight, you watched the game. At times we looked good.

“We did what we wanted to do in the game, we created chances, we got in the lead, we got the second goal. And unfortunately the goals we give away, they just beggar belief, but that’s football.”

Photo: TWTD

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Umros added 23:27 - Dec 1
Overpaid Pre-Madonna’s lose to bunch of kids. Seriously pathetic for be honest.

shakytown added 23:28 - Dec 1
Just go away please and take your awful 4231 with you.

itfchorry added 23:28 - Dec 1
Really not good enough -

You have been given everything-

1- A Healthy Budget
2- Unbelievable Support
3- Big Name Sponsor
4- Backing from the Owners

No doubt you will play one upfront against the
mighty Barrow on Saturday-


nick8 added 23:31 - Dec 1
Get out of the club you absolute fraud

blueboy1981 added 23:35 - Dec 1
You are being found wanting Mr Cook - for whatever reason, maybe even found out … !!!
You cannot keep repeating the ‘same of speel for defeat, as often as you do, it wears thin’.
You were the one who said ‘judge me after ten games’ - well we are well past that, and almost every game is a repeat of the previous failings, to the point of becoming boring.
‘Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating’ - not in the talking, and there’s not much to show for that ..!!

TimmyH added 23:50 - Dec 1
Anything's possible under you Paul, shock big wins when we don't expect it to struggles against small clubs to making the what should be easyish look difficult.

He'll be in trouble in the New Year if the same keeps happening...

Woodbridgian added 00:01 - Dec 2
The only consistent thing about our performances are the absolute rubbish that comes out of Cooks mouth game after game. His moto must be why use 10 words when a 100 will do! Which is probably the root cause of all of our problems, faced with his verbose ramblings week after week the players have stopped listening.

del45 added 00:03 - Dec 2
Followed itfc for over 70yrs through the 3nd div South etc we have now be come a embarrassing club in the last few years we now have bull shxxt mangers and weak football brainless players.

brassy added 00:24 - Dec 2
div 1 manager div 1 players = div 1 next season

Juggsy added 00:35 - Dec 2
I’m done listening to him now. Like a stuck record.

ButchersBrokenNose added 00:44 - Dec 2
Two quotes from Mr. Cook stand out to me:

" I certainly won’t ever get after people, I don’t believe in that."


"the minute the Arsenal goal went in, [the supporters] shouted at me. And I actually shouted ‘What about shouting at one of the players?’"

Do you think he even knows what's coming out of his mouth anymore? Do interviews such as this provide insight into his pre-match and halftime team talks? I'm starting to understand why the players come out for every second half looking confused and dejected.

I have no confidence for the rest of this season unless Mr. Ashton and the owners make some serious changes to the management team.

ArnieM added 01:07 - Dec 2
We lost that game to Arsenals young 18years olds because collectively, that Ipswich Town team tonight were arrogant and felt they “ couldn’t lose to a bunch of kids”and so took their foot off the gas once 2-0 up. This arrogance was never more personified than by Celina and his ridiculous penalty - utter arrogance and frankly disrespectful to that young Arsenal side.

There’s something not right amongst some of these Town players . Where’s the fire, the passion, the HONESTY????

Karlosfandangal added 01:17 - Dec 2
Do agree with Cook on one thing. The players have to do it on the pitch, they are paid a fortune, some of them are on £10k a week. El mozouni was about the only one that was chasing and putting them under pressure.

However Mr Cook that’s the only thing I agree on.

You said the players were sign because they have the right character, yes better than last year but still no will to fight and win.

Last year 52 Goals (1.02 per game) 53 against (1.03 per game)
This year 44 Goals (1.63per game) 35 against (1.30 per game)

With half the season gone we are going to celebrating more times this season as the goals go in yet we are going to be disappointed more too as we watch those silly mistakes happen time and time again.

The faith I had in you Mr Cook is starting to disappear very quickly now.

Win 3 on the trot now you need 4 on the trot for me to think we have a chance of getting out of this division

billlm added 06:07 - Dec 2
4231 dosent work change it or go

billlm added 06:07 - Dec 2
4231 dosent work change it or go

Len_Brennan added 06:33 - Dec 2
We are not going to win the league; we are not going to finish in the automatic promotion places; with every passing league game we look less likely to make the top 6/playoff places; if we do manage to scrape into 6th place, we are very unlikely to win promotion by beating 2 of the better sides in the league back to back.
Given all the above, in this season of genuine expectation, it is therefore vitally important that we get something by way of cup success, and the manager knows this, hence the lack of youth players in the squad last night. We unconvincingly scrapped through the group stage & now get dumped out by a team of u-23s (albeit Arsenal have quality players at this level).
In the FA Cup we just about squeezed past the 2nd worst team in League football after a replay & now nervously await a Round 2 (TWO) home tie against mighty Barrow. Is our great season of hope about to end before Christmas, without ever really challenging for promotion, without ever looking like we'd get a trip to Wembly for the Papa John's, and where we get knocked out of both the Carabao & FA Cup in the early rounds, against League 2 opposition?
Saturday is an absolutely massive game for us now; a win & a chance for a possible 3rd round tie against a Premier League club gives us something to get excited about at least, but a defeat & elimination from the competition in the first week of December, will really put the rest of the season into focus for many.
Not good enough Mr Cook; it's your handpicked squad, your tactics, your backroom staff, your unwavering formation, your motivational half time team talks & your consistent inability to react to what's happening on the pitch, despite having a bench full of 'alleged' quality players at your disposal.

grinch added 06:50 - Dec 2
lose Saturday which is unthinkable and our season is over before Christmas. That is not progress from the dismal lambert days it is us going backwards . Fanes deserve better than 1 good performance in 6 not sure Mr Cook has the attributes to push us forwards and not having a defensive coach shows enormously May be a defensive coach and a number 2 for cook is tge requirement in Jan the players we have should be good enough so look at the coaching managing side to improve us Mr Ashton

Saxonblue74 added 06:51 - Dec 2
Can't disagree with PC. 2-0 up and they decided the game was won. Keep your foot on the gas and finish it! Good to see Carroll back and El Miz has a fire in his belly that's lacking with most. Jackson was decent but I'm far from convinced by him. There's a reason why this lot are 2nd XI, too many errors in them. As for 4321? Take a look at our goals for column! Goals against is the issue with still far too many mistakes at the back. It'll be interesting to see what happens in January in terms of players in/out.

itfcserbia added 06:55 - Dec 2
"We have massive individual errors that keep costing us and until we change the individuals at times, then the individual errors won’t change.”

“But I will always take it for the team, I always carry that. I’m sorry, I’m only be a little bit jovial, if I’m being truthful."

This guy has lost the plot...

USA added 07:17 - Dec 2
“You can’t speak highly enough of Kayden. Kayden certainly is the big shining light from tonight, he should rightly get the plaudits.”

Could he play in the league this season? “I don’t want to start discussing all the different stuff after games, we’re going from game to game.”

Pardon? What does the past part of that sentence even mean? This exemplifies his stubbornness as does his unchangable 4231 formation. He seems clueless.

Game after game we hear utter drivel. I can’t listen to him anymore.

USA added 07:19 - Dec 2
That coming after saying “Give me a selection headache!”


ThaiBlue added 07:30 - Dec 2
I wish we could loose you mr cook,bloody hopeless and your backroom stafg,not good enough

Monkey_Blue added 08:10 - Dec 2
His comment about what he shouted at the fan says it all. Cook always try’s to avoid the fact he is in charge so responsible for the team’s performances and results. I know he tried to walk it back by claiming he was joking, but I think he simply realised how bad that comment was. He sounded desperate in the radio interview and unable to offer any coherent analysis. I genuinely believe he doesn’t have the insight or talent to fix a problem he has caused or recognise that he’s caused it.

ringwoodblue added 08:18 - Dec 2
Imagine we did get to the play off final (I know it’s very unlikely), we go 2 up against our opponents I think we all know how it would finish.

Cook and his coaches ( if you can call them that) clearly don’t have the ability to make us succeed as a team and the longer they stay the more the feel good factor will disappear

HappyKitten added 08:22 - Dec 2
"What did we learn tonight we didn't know already" Nothing, we (the fans) have known for ages you are not the man to take this club forward. You keep banging on about players need to show a big club mentalaty, well that goes for you too. Big clubs adapt, before and during the game; you do not. You have to go but who comes in?

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