Ipswich Town gave their hopes of finishing inside the top six in League One this season a massive boost with the Tractor Boys picking up a vital 1-0 win at home to Plymouth Argyle.
An early goal gifted to Tottenham Hotspur loanee Troy Parrott was enough for Ipswich to secure their first win under Cook in his third game and also move them above his former club Portsmouth and into sixth place. Pompey have since sacked manager Kenny Jackett, which could make things a little more difficult for the Tractor Boys depending on if they get a new manager bounce.
However, Ipswich will now feel they have a real chance of making the top-six with the club having a different mood around it now under Cook. He has promotion-winning experience in spades having guided Wigan Athletic, Portsmouth and Chesterfield to promotions in his managerial career already. So the Tractor Boys will have renewed faith they can earn a return to the Championship now.
In what has been a busy few days for Ipswich, we round up some of the latest news concerning the Tractor Boys…
Ipswich to face nervous wait over extent of Flynn Downes injury
One player who had been looking transformed already in the early stages of Cook’s reign was Flynn Downes, who had managed to get himself back into the side and just starting to look like he could make a real difference within his new manager’s setup. However, just 36 minutes into the game against Plymouth he was forced off the field and replaced by Teddy Bishop.
Downes will now likely to be out for at least the next few matches, and Cook confirmed after the game that his injury was a hamstring issue. That will now see the midfielder set to undergo a scan to determine the extent of the problem and determine how long he will be out for.
Cook will be hopeful that is not a bad hamstring injury and that he can get Downes back fit and ready to feature against as soon as possible. The 22-year-old could well be key to helping the Tractor Boys enjoy a successful ending to the campaign if he can return and get back to his best under the new manager.
Cook believes Cole Skues can come into the starting line-up in near future
Given the injury blow to Downes, the return to action of Ipswich stalwart Cole Skuse against Plymouth was a major timely boost for Cook’s side. The experienced midfielder made his return to action after more than a year on the sidelines with a knee injury coming off the bench for the final 25 minutes to help see out the victory.
Following the end of the game, Cook revealed that he was delighted by Skues’ return to fitness and that he thinks his experience can play a vital role for the club in the end-of-season run-in. While he also insisted that he believes the 34-year-old can make a return to the starting line-up in the near future if he is called upon to do so.
There is no doubt that Ipswich have missed the presence of Skuse in midfield, and whilst it is vital they manage his condition properly after so long out injured it would be massive for them if they could get him into the starting line-up before the season’s end.
James Norwood set for quick recovery after missing Plymouth win
Another player who could be set to provide Cook with a fitness boost is forward James Norwood, who missed out on the win against Plymouth on Saturday with Kayden Jackson coming into the side and leading the line in his place.
After the win, Cook revealed that Norwood has been suffering from an issue with his back that had flared up during the recent 2-1 win against Accrington Stanley. However, he also revealed that it should not be too big of an issue and should be a problem that he can recover from quickly. That, therefore, suggests it will not be a too lengthy spell on the sidelines for the 30-year-old.