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14 September 2021

Boss on defeat to young Hammers and start to season

Paul Cook said he is experiencing the biggest test of character in his career following another defeat for Town this evening.

The Blues boss spoke to iFollow Ipswich after a 2-1 loss to West Ham U21 in the Papa John's Trophy; a result that means Town have started the campaign with no wins in eight games across all competitions.

James Norwood opened the scoring after just three minutes, but the young Hammers hit back to take the spoils.

The full transcript of Paul's post-match interview with iFollow Ipswich is available below.


Q: Paul that must have been a tough one to take?

"It's the same story but another night.

"We're giving soft goals away and defensively, whether Saturday or tonight, we're not at it. We made 10 changes to give some of the lads a chance to say 'I should be playing' but once again it hasn't been a good night for us.

"The supporters' frustration at the end is fully justified. At the moment we're a team searching for our soul. That's what we're searching for, and we're not finding it, but we need to quickly that's for sure."


Q: How concerning is the familiar nature of the game? Once again we take the lead and again we take nothing from the match...

"We score and what we've done before we'll do again. Until we break the cycle, then it'll just stay the same. We never created enough chances in the game, without a shadow of doubt. West Ham came and had a lot of men behind the ball and made it difficult for us to break them down and then all of a sudden at the end they nick a penalty. That's where we're at right now.

"We have to go away and the mindset must be stronger. We must have a mentality that we're going to get better and we must get better quickly that's for sure."


Q: In games at the moment, despite being level, are we almost expecting things to go wrong?

"Given the results we've had, especially at home, even one like Newport, I felt we had a good number of attempts on goal and created chances. Tonight I didn't feel that. For our possession we had no penetration and didn't create clear-cut chances. When that's the case, you're always liable for things to go the way they did. We have to work hard on the training ground.

"We had a debut for Sam Morsy tonight which is pleasing, and there were debutants on Saturday. We are new, but that mantra can only last so long. We keep making the same mistakes. Unfortunately, if you keep making the same mistakes, then something has to happen. Something has to happen and for us the results have to change."


Q: Can you put it down to anything in particular?

"I'm not going to criticise the players.

"We give soft goals away and right now we're a soft team. It has to change."


Q: How big a test of character is this?

"It's the biggest test of character in my managerial career. I've just told the players that and I don't mind telling you that.

"I watch the game as a fan. Do I leave happy? No. I leave unhappy and frustrated. I'm in a fortunate position, though, where I can do something about it. The frustration is there for everyone, all of the staff included, we have to pick ourselves up and change the cycle."


Q: That's a big statement, Paul, given the managerial career you've already had?

"To players and fans a lot of tough words will be said. I wanted the lads tonight to show us who should be playing Saturday. That was the big challenge for the team - to show us who should be playing Saturday."


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