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Cook: Trust Can Only Come When Results Stay Consistent
Friday, 3rd Dec 2021 12:20

Town boss Paul Cook admits it’s hard to trust the players at the present time with that trust only coming once results become more consistent.

Cook has previously said that the Blues’ inconsistency is their consistency with good performances not always yielding the results they deserve, displays such as the 4-1 win at Wycombe followed up by the disappointing 1-1 FA Cup draw with Oldham and with two-goal leads allowed to slip in matches such as Wednesday’s Papa John’s Trophy tie with Arsenal U21s.

Town are currently 11th in League One and are yet to win more than two games on the trot since he took charge in March.

Quizzed on what he wants to see from his team next time they go 2-0 in front, as they did on Wednesday, the Blues manager said: “It's a very fair question, are we at the stage when I need to change the formation when we're winning?

“It's 10 games in which we've taken the lead. It's hurtful. You keep taking great steps and then you want to handicap yourself with bad steps.

“Do we then, and you know yourselves what happens, you make changes and supporters go ‘Who does he think he is?’. You can't win. You're damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

“As a manager, the reality is supporters are probably at the point at the minute where it's hard to trust the players in the team and I also include myself in that, and I'm the manager.

“The reality is until we put those results right and we see situations, trust can only come then when the results stay consistent.

“At the minute, the results are consistent – they're inconsistent. But the consistency of what we do is clearly there for everyone to see.”

One of the Blues’ biggest issues this season has been opposition sides profiting from individual errors. Is there anything a manager can do about that?

“I don't feel there is,” he reflected. “I think it is a genuine personnel issue and I always feel that.

“You've got moments where individual errors can always be lived with. If you keep making individual errors, then there is a bigger problem, there is a much bigger problem.

“So the reality for us again is Arsenal have one corner the other night, taking information in is a really big part of the game, executing the information is another big part, but as a manager, I never ever want to be someone who throws players under the bus, I just don't think it is right.

“A manager’s job is to sort out the problems on a pitch. I think what people don't ever want to look at is the recruitment we made in the summer en masse, the departures from the club en masse and also the time it's taken the squad to get up and running.

“If you look at the last 12 results or 14 results, we've been OK and the points tally is not bad at all.

“But the handicap start is really hurting us because we're not catching the teams above us. At some point, if we want to be successful, we've got to start catching teams above us.”

When Cook is talking about the personnel, some would point out that this is the team he recruited in the summer. Is that fair comment?

“I've got no problems. What people are then saying is recruiting 20 players should automatically be promoted who had never met each other,” he said. “Good luck with that one, then! I think every club would go out and buy 20 players and just want to be promoted.

“That type of recruitment guarantees you no success. It was a platform for us to change the club from what we felt we were at to a platform to become a different club.

“In my world, the work is just starting. In other people's worlds, the work should end quickly, that's what they think.

“That's football today and that's the world we live in, and if you want to live in that world, I always believe that people should be allowed, especially supporters, to have a voice and opinion, but always have it at the correct time.”

When he talks about it being a “personnel issue” he isn’t suggesting that addressing the matter is a case of simply going out and replacing players.

“No. I mean, the personnel are the people who are selected on the day,” he said. “And the reality for the big clubs or good clubs is that clubs end up having teams they trust, that they work with and know what they get.

“For us going forward, we look at our personnel regularly and the personnel we want them to gain trust. We want to trust them and they want to trust us and our supporters want to trust them.

“But while we keep making individual errors and mistakes, it's hard for that trust to develop.

“So you work hard with the personnel, you show them and you show them again. You show them the defensive set-up from Arsenals corner. Why have Arsenal scored from one corner in the game?

“It's repetition and, at some point then going forward, and I know fans always like managers to change because that's the common theme for success, but personnel at clubs, you must always respect being at a good club.

“It comes with a pressure to deliver and perform and play, and if you keep making the same mistakes, eventually no different from anyone else, you will come under pressure because you won't get picked.

“And that is something as a manager, I've always prided myself on, being consistent and doing quite well.

“Lads have to be given chances. If you look at our squad in general, we just spoke about Joe Pigott wanting games. I can shut my eyes and Joe was picked at Oldham, Colchester and on Wednesday.

“So Joe has had three games in two or three weeks. He hasn't scored and missed two penalties, and that's football.

“I'm not hanging Joe out to dry in any shape or form, I'm just saying that's football today.

“So, we want consistency and we want lads to grab a shirt, take the shirt and keep the shirt. Unfortunately for us, we probably haven't had enough of them this season.”

He added: “I think if you want to look back on some stats, my last season at Wigan up until Christmas, we gave more winning leads away than any team in the division.

“Post-Christmas, we lost one in 18 I think, it was in the Championship. You're not going to cure every problem overnight, it's more hard work, it's more repetition, and it's more what you do.

“But it's more genuinely trusting each other to be able to do that. Sometimes in football now that's not the way forward, is it? But my way is that way.”

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Cookycrew added 12:43 - Dec 3
Patience has to be the key word for us supporting our Blues this season ......PC deserves our patience in the same way that we gave at least 2 full seasons in supporting the dreadful 'Shambert'.

tempzzzz added 13:56 - Dec 3
“So Joe has had three games in two or three weeks. He hasn't scored and missed two penalties, and that's football.

So based on that comment then you'll be starting Kayden Jackson instead of Bonne or Piggott at Charlton?

AustriaBlue added 14:14 - Dec 3
It really concerns me that there is a vocal minority of supporters, 3 or 4 of which have an undue influence on all thoughts ITFC, because of their constant harping and barracking of this latest management team.
Let's put a little perspective on the situation. Paul Cook has been here for all of 9 months. The football has improved. Even Ray Charles would say its a better watch than at any time since 2007. My question is do you really see a future for a club like ours sitting in a lower league seeking to change managers every 10-12 months, because the results haven't been stellar?
I remember the football in the 77-78 season. Results were pretty average, jn fact we didn't win more than 2 games on the trot all season. And before May 1978, Sir BR hadn't won a serious trophy with ItFC in his first 10 years of managing us. Patience of course was rewarded. But for seriously long stretches the results didn't match the football being developed.
So, I ask the teenies and bedsit keyboard warriors, to just give it a rest for a little bit and see where the rest of the season takes us. You never know your blood pressure might improve as a result. Try and enjoy the ride and not get your knickers all in a twist when the inevitable happens and we lose a game.
Up a towen!

DifferentGravy added 16:24 - Dec 3
AustriaBlue - You start off by making some fair points. However, you undermine your comments by referring to anyone with a different mindset as 'Teenies and bedsit keyboard warriors'.

Monkey_Blue added 16:44 - Dec 3
AustriaBlue. Football has changed significantly since the 70’s both in terms of what’s required from managers but also in terms of the financial disparity and the severity financially of lack of success. Sir Bobby was a legend but he also competed in an era where clubs our size could compete without needing cash. Paul Cook has had huge cash advantages in an era where results are needed quicker in every league. If he can’t be successful in the context of today’s game, we need someone who can.
He decided to sign the players and the scale of change but let’s not forget his record here before the summer was horrific also.
There are clubs with smaller budgets, far lesser squads, nowhere near the back room staff, quality of ground or training facilities who have also signed significant numbers. In fact it’s been a trend across league one. You stick with a manager when there is credit in the bank but Cook is overdrawn massively.

Bert added 17:06 - Dec 3
If our third goal had been given on Wednesday (it was NOT offside), the posts on here would be less vociferous. That said, just scrapping a win against an U21 side is not the stuff to make us feel confident in any team put out by Cook at the moment. If we win well against Barrow, it will boost morale but trickier opponents lay in wait.

AustriaBlue added 17:38 - Dec 3
I have to admit I didn't think I would get such a well reasoned argument from you Monkey Blue. Thanks, I appreciate it.

You're right about the more level playing field of the 70s, but ITFC still outperformed because I think the Cobbolds believed in continuity and patience. If money were everything why is Sunderland still in this division?. Why is Brentford doing good stuff even on small budgets? Taking the former, I think they aren't succeeding until this year because they change horses or managers too often. 7 in 4 years and no success can't be a coincidence. Brentford on the other hand have a philosophy- outthink the opposition by using data effectively and sticking with it: consistency over 6 years has got them where they are now.

Until the new owners came in, we as a club under Evans, had neither a consistent approach to football nor a real philosophy of how a club can build a future. Evans thought he could buy a trip back to the Premier League, quickly effortlessly and without putting too much skin in the game. We saw what 10 years of abysmal board management can do to a club.

And, that is where we find ourselves. Starting from a very fractured base. But, we do have a proven manager who has consistently delivered at this level jn the past.

I can only speak for myself and say I am happy to give the man the time to turn the ship around and find that consistently winning team. To throw him out now and think only money will take us up is a trip down the wrong road. Only deluded Derby fans are thinking, if only our board had just given Frank that little bit more money, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Money cannot guarantee success at whatever level you play at. The recipe for success are all those things Cook talks about, where all the ingredients must marry well before success arrives. Let the board and their Cook do some proper cooking before we look to burn the restaurant down, and start again.

cat added 18:43 - Dec 3
Whether you like Cook or not you have to see that the players are as much accountable as the manager. Take Tuesday’s typical ITFC performance, awesome first half terrible second. Do posters actually think that P.C told the boys at half time to switch off? Cause that’s how ludicrous some on here are coming across.
Our problem is we take our foot off the gas, stop pressing so intensely and invite the opposition on. So, stop blaming no plan B, lack of a good coach, formations, one up top, systems or selections and get your ass down to P.R and form your own conclusion based on what’s actually happening!

BlueRuin69 added 18:52 - Dec 3
TWTD....Those were the days should be.....Those whinge the days.....Coyb

cat added 19:42 - Dec 3
Hey Monkey “ You stick with a manager when there is credit in the bank but Cook is overdrawn massively” Your not a merchant banker by any chance!?

shakytown added 04:07 - Dec 4
I have no trust left in you or your awful tactics.

ArnieM added 09:13 - Dec 4
Tempezzzz: no but I can see Jackson being played wide right today with Bonne up front.
Although Pigott has had family issues recently which could allow for, in the games where he has played , he had looked way off the pace to me , and certainly doesn’t have the work rate of Bonne up front.

Wide left, you are left with the totally ineffective Edwards or one moment winded Celina to choose from.

ArnieM added 09:16 - Dec 4
Austria blue: Thank you got that post . You’ve restored my confidence in us actually having reasonable fans in our fan base !

nick8 added 12:47 - Dec 4
Total fraud that man

TimmyH added 15:21 - Dec 4
AustriaBlue - you fail to mention that the 77-78 season under Robson when the football climate is COMPLTELY different to now and incomparable that season we had a horrific amount of frequent injuries to a relatively small squad which blighted our form (other than in the Cup for some reason) and just managed to escape relegation so a bit of cherry picking from yourself to prove a point.

As for telling 'teenies and keyboard warriors' to give it a rest?...sure that doesn't apply to you as well?

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