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Cook: Our Club's Fortunes Are Not Going to Be Changed With a Magic Wand
Friday, 3rd Dec 2021 11:54

Boss Paul Cook says the Blues’ fortunes are not going to be changed with a magic wand, but on “habits, culture, work ethic and recruitment” which will eventually result in a strong Ipswich Town.

The Blues sit 11th in League One with their season hampered by a lack of consistency, following up their best displays with poorer performances, while within games they allow their levels to slip, letting opponents back into games which appear to be one, Wednesday’s Papa John’s Trophy tie against Arsenal U21s being a prime example.

Asked if there’s anything he can do about that inconsistency, Cook said: “I think no different from all supporters, you’ll always get good supporters, in my opinion, who have genuine conversations about the club, you’ll always get people in the modern world now through social media who are just drama queens, if you like. They’re just drama queens in my world.

“The reality for us is that we have an ability to give goals away when you would least expect it. You go back to Fleetwood this season, a game we’re in control in, probably 76 minutes, counter-attack - goal.

“You go back to Burton Albion away, 84 minutes, total control of the game, we give a penalty away.

“So while our inconsistency and our lapses in concentration are probably ingrained in the squad and the group of players, the reality for us is we must keep working hard to eradicate it.

"But if you look at Wednesday night, for example, a different XI, 2-0 up, 68 minutes, total control of a game, Arsenal have one corner in the match. One. And they score from it.

“The reality with those lads, and we’re asking, searching all the time, when you’re at clubs like ours, you must respect your shirt, your jersey etc because one day it won’t be there for you.

“And unfortunately for our lads sometimes, we have so many positives from Wednesday night, but unfortunately we have a few real negatives as well.

“The negatives are not worth continually talking about because we’re not affecting them in a good way. The positives are what we want at the football club.”

Cook was reminded that those supporters expressing their frustration are not necessarily reacting to recent events but many years of underachievement at Town, that scars run deep.

“Football fans, Ipswich fans, fans around the world now, are that used now to managers being under pressure imminently,” he reflected.

“That’s the football industry now. Managers get spoken about now in such a disrespectful way it’s sad. But that’s the game today. I think Steve Bruce highlighted it, but that’s the game today and you live with it.

“I live with it, it doesn’t stop me tonight being on a train up to Gateshead to watch Charlton play. If any of those fans want to jump on the train with me and spend eight hours with me, feel free, I’ll be happy to do that.

“My job here, like when I’ve been at other jobs, Portsmouth my first year, loads of pain, got in the play-offs. Second year, won the league.

“I don’t have to explain myself. Our supporters just want to see action. That’s all they want to see. We can’t be promoted in December. Our club’s fortunes are not going to be changed with a magic wand.

“Our club’s fortunes will be changed on habits, culture, work ethic and recruitment. That’s how football is. If football fans aren’t patient enough to wait, that’s the game we’re in today.

“But the ones who are patient and the ones who wait will certainly see our club go forward and our club grow because the ownership and the people involved at the higher end of the club want the same common goal, a strong Ipswich Town Football Club.”

While Cook is experienced enough to deal with the pressure, will his players be able to do the same? “They’re not my players, they’re our players. Our supporters should always remember that, that they’re our players, they wear our colour, they wear our shirt. Confidence like everything else in football is huge.

“We’ve had one bad performance in as long as I can remember, Rotherham at home. That’s the truth of it, that’s how I look at football.

“I can look back to the last 10, 12, 15 games, Rotherham at home, way off it, not good enough. Every other performance I’ve enjoyed and thought we’ve done OK in. It’s my world.

“Does that mean we’re good enough today? Not a chance? Does that mean we look like what we want to be? Not a chance. Does that mean we’re striving to get where we want to be? One hundred per cent.

“So I’ll just stay in my world. My world is a great cup tie tomorrow, should be a good crowd in, we desperately want to be in the third round of the FA Cup.”

Cook has been pleased with recent performances, such as the display at Sunderland in which there only looked one winner until the final minutes.

“Could we play any better at Sunderland?” he said to agreement from reporters. “If we're going to keep playing like Sunderland away and keep losing, the reality is I'll lose my job, but Ipswich will be playing well.

“With Oxford at home, we left the stadium to a standing ovation. We've gone to Sunderland away and lost a game that we absolutely played really well in.

“I’m genuinely comfortable with the performances, the results are not what we all want because everyone wants to be promoted this season and we need to get in the top three before Christmas. And if we all keep in that world, we’ll all up in a loony bin.”

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Parky added 12:00 - Dec 3
Well said, Cookie.

SouperJim added 12:13 - Dec 3
I like Cook, I think he's a good man manager, I like the way he deals with the press and I like the way he understands and communicates with the fans. I like the way he wants to play, I'm entertained by the way we play attacking football and I desperately want him to succeed.

However, our game management is simply terrible, we don't do the ugly side anywhere near well enough and have been embarassed too many times already this season by less capable footballing sides, simply because they refuse to give in and have much better game management than us. We appear to only ever play one way and there seems to be very little ability within our management team to make effective tactical changes once the game is in progress.

I desperately don't want to be a fickle modern football fan, but I have serious doubts as to whether Cook is capable of sucessfully addressing the above, as there is little evidence so far that suggests he can.

It really does feel like December is make or break for Cook, if not with the owners (impossible to know their mind) then certainly with the fans. Support is wavering.

wkj added 12:20 - Dec 3
I get what Cook is saying, but it would be nice to get a sense of steady improvement. This good again, bad again pattern is not great.

Shineyblueknives added 12:31 - Dec 3
I'm not one to jump on the band wagon and generally I'm not one to comment on here but I am starting to get a tad frustrated with Paul Cook.
Everyone wants instant results and instant improvements, in the past we've given managers time to bed in but if time is wasted then the club stagnates and I don't think Paul Cook is the answer
But then who would be?

BossMan added 12:46 - Dec 3
Less wins than Lambert, less points than Lambert, lower in the league than Lambert but we played well at Sunderland.

Wickets added 13:58 - Dec 3
I would be very interested in the thoughts of the person who gave SouperJim the down vote as i agree with all he said .

Wickets added 14:00 - Dec 3
2 down votes Cookiecrew and Piercingblue come on lads share your thoughts ?

runningout added 14:09 - Dec 3
may sound iffy. One tiny change would be players do without goal celebration until game is won. Instead straight back to own half and go for another, rather than easing off like buffoons. Even as a fan now I seem reluctant going over the top until 4 nil up

blues1 added 14:18 - Dec 3
Boss man. What the hell are you on about? Ur trying to compare lamberts points tally in March with cooks points tally at the end of november? When did Lambert ever lose only 4 games I 15 matches? How many transfer windows did Lambert have before u started to judge him? Cook has had 1. Can only assume ur one of those ridiculous fans who wants instant success after 10 years of demise. It was always gonna take time, which is why the new owners made it clear as soon as they arrived, that it could take a few years to get out of this division. Now is way too soon to be judging a manager. If at this time next season, nothing has changed, then he should be open to scrutiny. Maybe even to be sacked. But for now we need to show some patience. And also those fans who just moan and boo with every misplaced pass should stay away. It really doesn't help the players when all they can hear is negativity. Anyone who doesn't think things are better than they have been knows nothing about football. While the results are not as good as anyone wants to see the football ìs miles better.

blue86 added 15:02 - Dec 3
I want cook to succeed, or any Ipswich manager. My concern is because we dont seem to be performing consistently, and were are league poxy 1. Also, another big one for me is we seem to have no plan b, or a different formation apart from 4231....why? At present cook still has it all to prove as an Ipswich manager, and for the record I hope he does succeed because I love the club. If we can start being more consistent, have a plan b when things arent working, and making tactical adjustments when required rather than same old same old, then I might start to believe and have more faith. I would never boo the team as that is not supporting the club.

@ blues1, I agree with some if what you said. But to say he needs more than one window? Where he signed about 20 players??? How many windows and players do we need? 40, 60 maybe 80 players, and 4 windows? Cook himself stated he only needs a pre season and 1 window. I agree he needs time, but unless we finish in a playoff position he should be sacked. We have a squad 99% of league could only dream off.

ArnieM added 15:24 - Dec 3
Runningout: good call . You’re essentially talking about the players mental focus , which sadly there is little evidence of .

BlueRuin69 added 15:27 - Dec 3
Talk of replacing manager is silly. Needs time to get it right. Coyb

Bazza8564 added 15:42 - Dec 3
I like Cook, I like his honesty, i like his enthusiasm and openness. He is right, we do all want to flick a switch and enjoy instant success, especially after the Evans era when, (and we only see the matches) from all accounts the whole football club was effectively left to gently decay.
All of that isnt going to change overnight, we all know it, but facing it after disappointing performances is damned painful. Ive been on here after matches and ive been venting anger and spitting feathers in disappointment, so its human nature and expected for us to behave like drama queens when we are upset. Its a fair analogy, we care and its important, it hurts. But we have to stick together.
We lack a bit of backbone in this squad i think, there are players like Morsy and The Fridge who are obviously passionate, and you will never get 11 of them, but when things go against us, there are some others who shrink a bit and shrug it off, and so it will be interesting to see who we go after in January and what Cook says then about what we've been missing.
I laugh when people talk about Cook being an Evans appointment, yeah right, the club was in the process of being sold to this team for almost 12 months and the new team didnt pick the new manager, a guy who was appointed within days of the takeover going through...

Make no mistake, this club will take more than 8 months to rebuild on and off the pitch, its the nature of change that things get worse before they get better. As fans, we totally embrace the new group of owners and directors, we realise what they are trying to do and the journey we are on, yet when it comes to the football, we (MYSELF INCLUDED AT TIMES) want everything to be rosy immediately.

Paul is assembling (present not past tense) a totally new squad, we have seen some great football this season and we have seen some stupid mistakes and daft moments that cost us almost every single time.

In my opinion, we need to stick with this process, stick with this guy and give him all the support we can until the time comes when the board decide otherwise. In 50 years following the blues i love my club now as much as I have ever done and i am convinced that for the league we are in, we are in the best hands.
COYB and lets get ourselves back on track tomorrow with a good win, a plum tie in R3 and get ourselves smiling again

ThaiBlue added 19:47 - Dec 3
Id like to wave a magic wand and cook disapear.

churchmans added 21:32 - Dec 3
My god! What is with the newspaper article comments on here! It aint working,cook aint working

herfie added 21:59 - Dec 3
Slightly concerned that PC appears to suggest that he’s trying to improve individuals from such a low baseline. Of course the training ground is where the hard works, drills, tactics etc occur; but, given that we supposedly have one of the league’s strongest squads, would have thought that they should possess those ‘basics’ that PC seems to think need constant repetition in order to gain the consistency so far so lacking.

I detect that, during games, we seem to lack football intelligence - failing to read the way events are unfolding, where danger lies etc, and responding individually and collectively. Typically on Wednesday, when conceding through an OG, immediately working hard to deny the opposition the momentum to score a second. There are other examples!


Woodbridgian added 06:58 - Dec 4
Some people make it happen
Some people let it happen
Some people don’t know what happened
Unfortunately I think Cook is in the let it happen category.
He cares about it wants it to be right but frankly just doesn’t know what to so to fix it

dirtydingusmagee added 09:32 - Dec 4
Blueruin to get it right he needs to change things and be a flexible tactician, he has not shown he is willing or capable , just sticks to same thing all the time. He is also seemingly not able to motivate the players be it by kindness or giving them a rollocking . The big team behind the scenes are not making much difference either. It all looked good when these people were brought in , but we are in a worse place now than before . We need to be moving forward .

SitfcB added 09:42 - Dec 4
Hear, hear! He only talks sense.

hyperbrit added 13:19 - Dec 4
the fans on TWTD are asking a very valid question as to what the owners are thinking. My 23 years in America taught me that businesses there are absolutely results oriented first and foremost,and based on that criterion Cook is failing fast!!

adamisablue2 added 18:47 - Dec 4

I agree 100 percent. However id go a step further than game management and say that he has no league management skills either (it was all probably Leam Richardson's doing in the past)

Lets go back a month or so to Portsmouth, Plymouth and Wycombe. Three very tough away trips from Suffolk covering well over 1000 travel miles playing some high intensity football. We won two out of three of those games which was awesome. However he then went and played the exact same team with the exact same style against Oldham and the performance fell flat prompting a replay and even more travel miles. Then he played nearly the exact same team (and system) against Sunderland which is over 600 miles to play the exact same team and the exact same system AGAIN against Rotherham and duly got battered. Now we are facing the exact same scenario with a game today, a game on Tuesday before making up some more silly travel miles to Wigan, back for Sunderland and then Wycombe again 3 days later

Point of all of that last paragraph? All of that travel and intensive style can only lead to player burn out, a full Physios office and doctors surgery or both. Ipswich is in an unfortunate position geographically which means every away day is like taking the one ring to Mordor and Paul is not managing this very well in the slightest. Couple with what you said, Its left a very talented squad which should be challenging for the title in mid table and he needs someone to tell him all of this as constructive criticism (and he needs to learn it) fast.


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