Ipswich boss Paul Cook wants more punch from his players after ‘shambles’



Posted Sunday, April 25, 2021 by PA

Ipswich boss Paul Cook wants more punch from his players after ‘shambles’

Ipswich manager Paul Cook was hugely critical of his team’s dismal performance against a dominant AFC Wimbledon side following the 0-0 Sky Bet League One draw.

He said the first half of the Portman Road clash was possibly the “worst performance of one of my teams I have ever seen in my whole managerial career”.

However, Wimbledon boss Mark Robinson was delighted with his team’s efforts even though they failed to register a goal and saw Joe Pigott fail to convert a first-half penalty.

David Cornell made a double save to keep out the spot-kick and the Ipswich goalkeeper also produced a series of other fine efforts to keep the visitors at bay.

The result helped Wimbledon to take another step to safety and at the same time left Ipswich without a goal in six games. Ten hours without scoring has  virtually killed off the Suffolk side’s slim hopes of sneaking into the play-offs.

Ipswich had a let-off when Flynn Downes appeared to pull Pigott’s shirt in the penalty area in the first half but Cornell saved the day.

Keanan Bennetts failed to hit the target when well placed and Cornell flung himself at the feet of Ayoub Assal.

Andre Dozzell’s free-kick was deflected onto the top of the bar and Pigott’s 25-yard free-kick was tipped away by Cornell.

Cook said: “I have never seen a team lack every quality on a football pitch and doing basic stuff well – and it’s so disappointing.

“I felt we’re not far off a Sunday League team and you look at the stadium being empty and you’re so thankful that it is empty. The first half was an absolute shambles of a performance.

“Second half I felt we were honest. I can’t stand watching us play and that breaks my heart as I stand here. That team does not epitomise what I like about the game it is the total opposite.

“I don’t like watching us play. It lacks characters and it lacks big players and I hope and I pray that I am the one that can change that.’

Robinson said: “The game should have been all over after 25 minutes (missed penalty) and that’s happened before.

“It shows you where we’ve got to but the players are really, really flat that we’ve only got a point and it’s still five unbeaten.

“If we win Tuesday that’s it and it’s still very much in our own hands, then there’s nothing else anyone can do to catch us.

“The performance was really good and you can’t be disappointed after that.

“We need to do better to put the ball into the net but it’s not like we haven’t created and not that we haven’t played well, we just need to put the ball in the back of the net.”

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