Paul Cook has hinted at making major changes to the Ipswich Town squad this season, and has labelled himself as ‘demolition man’ as he prepares to overhaul the whole team.
The ex-Wigan Athletic boss was hoping to get a better tune out of his new players after arriving at Portman Road at the beginning of March, but for whatever reason it hasn’t quite happened.
The Tractor Boys have won just twice since the arrival of Cook from 10 matches, and their push for the play-off spots has weakened as they’re now five points off sixth-placed Portsmouth.
Ipswich were actually on a four-game unbeaten run before their clash with AFC Wimbledon in midweek, but two of those were 0-0 draws with not a single shot on target, so the problems were clear for all to see.
And they got even worse at the Dons as they went down 3-0 to the relegation-threatened side, with Josh Harrop sent off in the first half to make things even worse.
That result was seemingly the final straw for Cook, who is looking to make real changes to his team this summer and he’s hoping to have the backing of Ipswich’s new American owners to do so.
One decision has already been made, with experienced midfielder Alan Judge departing when his contract expires – and he won’t play for the club again as one more appearance would trigger an automatic contract extension.
Cook didn’t hold back when speaking about how he doesn’t trust his current team to put performances in for him right now, and major changes are in the offing come pre-season.
“There’s going to be a lot of pain at the club over the next few weeks and I’m fully prepared for that pain,” Cook said, per the East Anglian Daily Times.
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“As you can imagine, our team won’t be the same as it was on Tuesday night (for tomorrow’s game at Charlton). I’m not putting up with it anymore.
“I won’t throw any players under the bus and I won’t say anything on here (to the media) that I won’t say to people in dressing rooms.
“It’s not acceptable what we are at the moment but, come the summer, there will be a lot of change.
“This time has has not been successful for too long. Whether it lasts another six games is not really to the fore of my mind. The downward spiral has to stop soon and an upward one has to begin.”
“I offer very little criticism to the team but, at the minute, I don’t like the team and I haven’t got a clue what I’m getting out of them. That will end at the end of this season. 100%.”
Cook seems pretty disgruntled about what he’s seen on the pitch recently from Ipswich, and if you were the manager of a team who hasn’t scored in three games you would be as well.
There are a lot of senior players who are out of contract at the end of the season – the likes of Freddie Sears, Cole Skuse, Toto Nsiala, Gwion Edwards and Kayden Jackson – a lot of those have optional extensions but the way Cook is talking it would be a surprise if many stay.
The Tractor Boys could theoretically line-up for the start of the 2021/22 campaign completely different – it’s certainly an exciting but unpredictable time to be an Ipswich fan right now.