'The gaffer will soon work out who he can and can't trust' - Judge on Town's stuttering play-off bid
Alan Judge believes new boss Paul Cook is quickly working out who he can and can’t trust to implement his playing style at Portman Road.
Cook has now taken charge of eight games since arriving at the start of March - winning two, drawing three and losing three to leave Town three points from the League One play-offs in eighth place.
The Ipswich boss has stuck closely to a 4-2-3-1 system throughout much of his managerial career but has switched to both 3-5-2 and 4-4-2 systems over the last two games in search of a spark, with Judge admitting the players are still getting used to their new manager’s demands.
“We still believe we can do it and there’s eight games left,” said the Irishman, who has started the last six Town games, including Monday’s goalless draw at Rochdale.
“We’re still trying to implement the gaffer’s style and he’s probably worked out he doesn’t have certain personnel he wants to play his way. We’ve heard him say that.
“Players have to adapt. He has a certain way of playing and we have to adapt to that. He’ll find out soon enough who he can trust and who he can’t.
“But we’re giving him everything and he knows he has an honest bunch of lads in there.
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“We have to keep believing, keep working and continue to try and get better. There have been signs of it.
“The manager wants to play high intensity and we need to adapt to that.
“We aren’t scoring enough goals but the one thing is we’re not giving many away. We’re giving everything we can but we still know we can do better.”
Asked what’s needed to spark the Blues into life as they bid to make the play-offs, Judge said: “It’s confidence.
“We need to believe we’re good players. We’ve taken a bit of slack but I think rightly so on certain things. We’ve been hit and hit and hit but we believe we are good enough.
“It’s about having the confidence to take the ball on and not to be afraid to break the lines. Confidence is massive in football.
“We definitely have brave players but I think we’re tentative at times. It’s not a case of looking for someone else to do it but have to start taking responsibility. That’s not for just one player but for all of us.”
Reflecting on his side’s point at Spotland, following a game in which neither side registered a shot on target, Judge said: “I don’t think either team had much quality going forward and it was one of those games – stalemate.
“If you were here you’d know the conditions (swirling wind) weren’t the greatest but that’s not an excuse. We weren’t good enough going forward.
“I thought my shot (from outside the box in the first half) was going in but it just moved away at the last minute, but we needed more.
“The gaffer has implemented a few different things and we’re trying to bring that into the game, finding pockets here and there, but sometimes you have to play to the conditions. We wanted to get it down more but conditions didn’t help.
“I thought we were going to steal it at the end when it sat up for Josh (Harrop) and the lad’s made a good block, but it didn’t happen.”