Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook has claimed that his former club Portsmouth are amongst his new side’s biggest competitors for promotion this term, during an interview with the East Anglian Daily Times.
The Tractor Boys fell to defeat at the hands of fellow play-off chasers Gillingham at the weekend in what was Cook’s first game in charge of his new side after taking on the role from Paul Lambert, thus suggesting that there is a lot of work to be done if the club are to make the top six come the end of the season.
At the time of writing Ipswich are only two points off the play-off places with one game in hand on a few of the other sides around them, meaning that there is a lot still to play for throughout the last few months of the campaign.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game at home to high-flying Lincoln City, Cook made the following admission about the race for the play-offs:
“I think with 15 games to go, Portsmouth and Accrington are probably our biggest competitors, with Gillingham hot on us.
“We must be deemed to have a realistic chance. I’ve never been one to ever fear pressure. I feel you should embrace it.
“I don’t feel you should fear failure. I feel you should embrace it. That’s been my message today and it’ll be my message tomorrow and going forward.
“We have an opportunity, so why not take it?”
A win for the Tractor Boys on Tuesday night could see them enter the top six if Portsmouth fall to defeat at home to Sunderland.
I still believe that Ipswich have every chance of making the play-offs however the players will need to adapt quickly to Cook’s style of play in order to achieve this.
They had 55% of the possession against Gillingham at the weekend yet only managed to register one shot on target, which suggests that they need to be more clinical.
I’m sure it will come in time but they cannot afford anymore slip ups with there only being under 20 games left to play.
Every game will be like a cup final from now on and it will be intriguing to see how they improve under a manager who knows this level like the back of hand.