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Ipswich Town 0 v 0 Barrow
FA Cup
Saturday, 4th December 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Cook: We're Short of Where We Want to Be
Saturday, 4th Dec 2021 18:39

Town boss Paul Cook admitted the Blues are “short of where we want to be” to be at this stage following this afternoon’s disappointing 0-0 FA Cup second-round draw with League Two Barrow.

The Blues came closest to breaking the deadlock and Joe Pigott and late on youngster Cameron Humphreys hit the woodwork. Town now face a long trip to Holker Park for the replay in just over a week’s time.

Asked whether he was disappointed with the afternoon’s events, manager Cook said: “A lot of emotions really, the stadium in the first half wasn’t a very nice environment with supporters basically wanting to turn, which I get. The first-half performance was very indicative of that.

“I felt the second half performance a lot more where the supporters wanting to support them.

“As you can see with the pitch, it’s very dry, it’s very bobbly, all of a sudden it’s not conducive to passing football, certainly sidewards and backwards where our supporters are quite right to have a go.

“We showed no intensity, we showed no energy. I felt in the second half, albeit we showed a lot more honesty, but probably lacked a bit of quality.

“As you can see we’re in a little period of time now where it’s tough and for our players you must show your character, and me as a manager. I’ve been in these situations at all my clubs I’ve managed, Chesterfield, Portsmouth, Wigan, I’ve felt pain.

“I feel pain now because the brutal truth is that we’re probably not as good as we want to hope and think we are. The reality is that we are a team which is genuinely trying to work hard to get better. Within that, we have deficiencies, they’re there for all to see.”

Despite the flat first-half display Cook says he didn’t give his players a talking to at the break.

“No, no, no, because football’s educational and it’s trust,” he said. “For our players, the big thing for them, we had to be built off a page, we had Joe Pigott on and Macauley Bonne, we needed to play into our strikers and we needed to get some chances and crosses in the box and you could see the supporters then enjoying the game.


“Our supporters in the second half were like the team, we all played well. In the first half we all never played well, in the second half we all did.

“Our supporters need our help. It’s not just about the supporters turning up and getting behind the team, it’s about the team lifting our supporters and that’s something that we need to do better.”

What did he make to the partnership? “When things aren’t going well, every other options better than the option we’re doing. I’ve been in all these situations as a manager. I’ve played 4-4-2 in October, November and December and I’ve always played 4-2-3-1. But we’ll go through periods where we need two up front.

“Today’s game suited two lads up front and not a lot of intricate play. It was about getting balls in the box, crosses in the box, putting Barrow under pressure and getting that elusive goal.

“And if we could have won 1-0, like I said to the players, no one remembers these games. No one remembers Crewe last week, it’s just about results and unfortunately for us at the minute we’re not getting the results our supporters crave and want.

“The brutal truth is that we’re probably a little bit behind where we’d all like to be. Some people mightn’t like to hear that, but that’s the truth of it.”

Asked if he feels his side is any closer to going on a run, he responded: “No, you’ve watched us. I don’t think we are like that. But it changes. When we went to Wycombe did we think we’d win 4-1?

“When we beat Wycombe 4-1, we played Oldham at home, did we think we were going to draw 1-1? I never, I thought we were going to blow Oldham away.

“That’s football and that’s the challenge for managers and that’s why when we’re in jobs and we manage clubs we’ve got a privilege and an honour and that’s our job to sort the problems out.”

Is it a concern that he doesn’t feel a run is on the horizon? “Again, I’m 20 league games in, we’re in the third round of the FA Cup, and what’s a concern? That’s modern-day football now, for you guys, you sharpen your knives very, very quickly in the media.

“For us football managers, that’s the nature of the game we’re in. I’ll let other people answer that.”

The replay will be the seventh successive midweek game for the Blues and something the Blues won’t have wanted, although Cook pointed out that that being out of the competition would be worse.

“When Oldham were lining up to take a penalty, we would have loved to have gone up to Oldham,” he said.

“At the end of the day, football’s about winning games and we won enough of them to be in positions we want to be.

“Our league position isn’t where we want to be and we’re now travelling to Barrow in the FA Cup.

“That’s the reality of where we’re at, but then the squad, the players, everyone, that’s exactly what we’ve recruited, that’s where we’re at. Same as the management.

“We’ll grow together and when we have bad days we suffer together. Today, that’s just part and parcel of our journey.”

Town are without a home win in the FA Cup since January 2009 having drawn at home with plenty of clubs from lower divisions in that time and fans will see today’s result as history repeating itself.

“I think when you look at us as a team, you want to enjoy watching us play. You want to feel confident in the teams we put out,” Cook continued.

“We lost Santi [Bersant Celina] with an injury yesterday, George Edmundson’s out with his achilles. These aren’t made up injuries.

“We have struggled to put an XI out on the pitch that the supporters trust and probably we all trust because it’s chop-change, it’s two steps forward, three back, and that’s where it’s at at the minute.

“We’re probably a few points off where we’d love to be in the league, four or five points would see us on the cusp of getting in the play-offs. Today we travel up to Barrow in a replay.

“It’s us. We’re short of where we want to be. We acknowledge that, there’s no getting away from that.

“Then the biggest thing is what are we going to do to solve it, and that’s my job, the staff’s job and the players’ job.”

Regarding those injuries to Celina and Edmundson, he added: “They both weren’t available. Will they be good for Tuesday? We’ll have to wait and see, I don’t want to say too much.”


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Unhinged_dynamo added 18:41 - Dec 4
Tbh it's been tough since you took over last season and we dropped down the league, we are worse off than we've ever been and I don't get why cook still has such blinkered support by some? If it was lambert, Hurst or mick they'd be screaming for his head
8

Mark added 18:44 - Dec 4
Yes, so disappointing. We are certainly lacking players who can run with the ball and cross into the box, lots of numbers 10s but no wingers or attacking full backs today. The centre backs are solid but don't pass well or run forwards. We looked better up front when Pigott came on to join Bonne, and Aluko definitely needs to start Tuesday.
1

midastouch added 18:46 - Dec 4
This Cookie is getting more and more crumby.
1

itfcserbia added 18:49 - Dec 4
Oh so now it's the pitch that's not conducive to passing football is it Paul? Do one mate.
10

Woodbridgian added 18:49 - Dec 4
Cook “The brutal truth is that we’re probably a little bit behind where we’d all like to be” A little bit we’re a million miles off of where we should be and all we get from Cook is verbose claptrap
6

Cookiscooking added 18:50 - Dec 4
Is he really blaming the pitch? 👀 wow 🤣🤣
8

Suffolkboy added 18:50 - Dec 4
Another factor introduced today — it’s the pitch ! Then get it right !.,
As to where we want to be : what about a specific aim or aims , what’s in the line of sight and when will the trigger be pulled — or will it be the Board who take aim and replace the useless crew in the field and in the trenches ?
The verbal camouflage is becoming evermore useless !
Out ! COYB
4

1960H added 18:52 - Dec 4
Paul Cook...Specialist Subject......The bleeding obvious
3

grow_our_own added 18:59 - Dec 4
You are part of the leadership team at ITFC. If the pitch isn't good enough, why didn't you negotiate with the new owners to fix it in the summer!? We have been able to afford a new one since they arrived.

It's not personal Paul, you are just not very good at selecting a good team from a squad of decent footballers. You have a weird fetish for substandard players, who you persist with despite the evidence of everyone's eyes except your's.
2

ringwoodblue added 19:03 - Dec 4
Sorry Cookie, YOU are not as good as you think you are.

If Edmundson is out injured for a while we are in big big trouble.

5

cromwellblue added 19:07 - Dec 4
So much to be disappointed with.

Support for Cook is not blinkered, there are those of us who can still understand that change takes time. This team is far from evolved and continued expectations of walking this league are delusional.

It’s no surprise that our best results & performances have been away from home where the support is so much more unconditional. His comment today about the first half crowd is right, they were itching to turn. I feel that has been present at many home games.Trust in all quarters is still lacking.

Such a shame so few turned out today. We’re quick to complain when the club don’t take cup’s seriously but where was the main body of support.

Of course there are questions to answer on tactics & performance, for both management & the many of the players, but diving into more change is no guarantee it gets better. We live in a society based on instant gratification, sometimes you just have to hold on tight through some bad s**t and trust it will all come good eventually.

Like or loathe Paul Cook I genuinely believe he’s far from happy with thing, much more so than Lambert ever was. January may prove an interesting window and I can see some surprise departures from the squad.

Just my opinion, which will no doubt be slaughtered by some but hey ho.
8

notoriousITFC added 19:08 - Dec 4
No sh*t
0

Drifter3012 added 19:12 - Dec 4
Final words Paul, bye bye, thanks for nothing.
1

multiplescoregasms added 19:13 - Dec 4
Think you are running out of excuses mate. You go on about how massive the club is, yet within 4 days you couldn't beat Arsenal U21 or Barrow. These players aren't good enough under you, whether that be formation, mindset, tactics or whatever. I honestly don't see the owners sticking with you much longer if you don't suddenly turn this 5hitshow around. Don't blame the pitch, and don't blame the supporters in the first half by saying they were 'wanting to turn'. Ridiculous man.
4

notoriousITFC added 19:16 - Dec 4
After cherry picking your summer signings, spending big for L1, creating your squad... you don't want to be hearing "the reality is we are a team that is working hard to get better" in December.
1

Tractorboy1985 added 19:17 - Dec 4
You’ve been SACKED!! Cheerio 👋🏼👋🏼👋🏼
3

BossMan added 19:18 - Dec 4
Yep he's gone.hapoy days
0

1960H added 19:23 - Dec 4
Good news, the club have acted decisively and hopefully allowed enough time to still get something out of this season, I wonder if they have a replacement lined up
1

dirtydingusmagee added 19:27 - Dec 4
ffs a new excuse now , the pitch , when he arrived it was the squad , then the new one had to gel , now the pitch is at fault, so sack the groundsman plough it up and start again i suppose, What next to deflect your deficiencies PC , THE COLOUR BLUE .?
3

LimerickTractorBoy added 19:31 - Dec 4
I think you are being unfair to the Portman Road crowd there Cromwell, and getting taken in by Paul's ramblings.
We would all love a little stability and Paul to do well but this is shocking at the moment.
None of us were too happy with the performances of last seasons squad but the manner in which he threw them under the bus was not a good look.
This is his handpicked championship quality squad?? and the last 8/9 performances are not even average.
0

dirtydingusmagee added 19:32 - Dec 4
HAS HE GONE ?
0

jas0999 added 19:44 - Dec 4
Rightly sacked.
0

htb added 19:44 - Dec 4
I really don’t know what to think. Only a few weeks ago with the wins at Portsmouth and Wycombe it seemed we were finally on track, even early season results not good enough but performances were exciting in part and the feel good atmosphere was back at Portman Road. I went to the Sunderland game away fans fully behind the team, we played well and absolutely dominated them but then in a microcosm of our season missed chances and a catastrophic mistake and we have lost!! Since then we have been poor but I have been shocked how quickly the atmosphere has changed at Portman Road. This has led to an air of inevitability that PC would lose his job. It has come quicker than I expected and I wish him well. I can only hope we can somehow get it right going forward. This club feels cursed at the moment and I feel despair that the good times will ever come back.
2

fifeblue added 20:48 - Dec 4
Paul Cook admitted the Blues are “short of where we want to be”.

No sh*t, Sherlock!
0

WeWereZombies added 07:45 - Dec 5
That interview reads quite poignantly now.
0


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