Mike Bacon: It's going to take more than 'potential' to get into Cook's starting XI next season

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook watches from the touchline during the Sky Bet League One match at The

Paul Cook - knows what he wants - Credit: PA

We're heading for an even more hectic summer at Portman Road than we thought, I would suggest, with the likelihood there will be more comings and goings than a cabinet reshuffle.

The story my colleagues Stuart Watson and Andy Warren brought us yesterday about Paul Cook telling the vast majority of his remaining players they are not in his plans, is extraordinary, but doesn't surprise me one bit.

AFC Wimbledon keeper Nik Tzanev saves this Kayden Jackson second half effort.

Kayden Jackson - one player who the Club took up a contract extension on this week - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c

In fact I was quite surprised Cook and the Club took up options on some of the players they did this week - Night of the Long Knives it certainly was not.

Town have been on the slide for almost a decade and in the past few seasons that decline has sped up dramatically. I don't need to tell you we are in League One, haven't beaten Norwich City since about 1948 and have had no cup run of any sort to shout about in 10 years. 

Thank goodness for our U18s - more on them later.

Dejected Town players leave the pitch after a 3-0 defeat against AFC Wimbledon

Dejected Town players leave the pitch after a 3-0 defeat against AFC Wimbledon. - Credit: Pagepix

Yes, big changes are required. It's no good papering over the cracks.

And let's be honest, the majority of the show is down to the players. They are the ones who can make the difference. They are the ones who can make it happen. Cook knows that, he's worked with players who have made a difference at former club's he has managed. He knows he's a good manager.

It's seems it's going to take more than 'potential' to get into Cook's starting XI next season.

Mark Ashton

Mark Ashton will become Ipswich Town's new CEO at the end of this season. Photo: PA - Credit: Archant

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Cook is demanding the full monty - and I don't blame him. And if that involves double sessions of training day in, day out, week in, week out, then so be it.

Cook genuinely thought he could push and cajole the players he inherited last season to a play-off place - but he failed. Yet, here is a man who came to the club with a win ratio of 45% from 145 games as boss of Chesterfield, a 49% win ratio at Portsmouth from 107 games and a 42% win ratio as boss of Wigan from 155 games.

At Town his win ratio currently sits at 25%. Do you think he's going to put up with that?

Wigan's manager, Paul Cook after the Win at the Sky Bet League One match at the Keepmoat Stadium, Do

Paul Cook takes Wigan into the Championship in 2018. He is used to recent success. - Credit: PA

Of course not. Cook's a winner - a recent winner at that. Not a manager who won things 'back in the day' and clings onto it forever and a day.

Our Club needs to get back on its feet - and quick. There is no time to waste. We have new owners, a new chairman, a new CEO. It's all happening. Who wants to be on the ride?

If Town's current squad want it badly enough - and there will be plenty who do, I'm sure - then it's all there in front of them and they ought to move heaven and earth to show Cook so.

Because if Ipswich Town do get on a winning streak next season, with Cook at the helm, it's going to be one hell of a fun dressing room and one hell of a fun club to be part of.

Ipswich Town players were out on their feet after a heartbreaking FA Youth Cup defeat to Liverpool

Town's youngsters were out on their feet after their exit to Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup. But they gave it their all. - Credit: Ross Halls

It proved one step too far for Adem Atay's Ipswich Town U18s last night - but only just.

I felt very mixed emotions sitting in the Press Box at Portman Road watching Liverpool head into the final after a 2-1 win over the Blues.

Mixed - because obviously I was disappointed for the Town youngsters, but I was also immensely proud of the passion and pride they showed in their play.

They can hold their heads high. In a season where there has been so much negativity around Portman Road, Atay and his youngsters have shone a beacon on what playing for the Ipswich Town badge means.

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