'I thought we played well in a weird sort of way' - Cook on Town's 1-1 draw with Lincoln

Town manager Paul Cook pictured during the game.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook pictured during the game. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook thought tonight's 1-1 home draw with Lincoln City was a fair result.

The Imps looked sharper in attack during the first half and led at the break through Morgan Rogers' fine finish from outside the box.

Michael Appleton's high-fliers sat back after the restart though, Town dominated possession and, though they struggled to create from open play, were able to equalise when James Wilson headed home after Luke Chambers had flicked on Andre Dozzell's deep free-kick delivery.

That was their sixth successive goal scored from a set-piece.

The Blues move up to seventh in the League One table and within a point off the play-off places ahead of Saturday's visit of Plymouth. Lincoln stay third.

“I think you’ve got to be pleased," said Cook. "If you watched us Saturday (in a 3-1 loss at Gillingham) we probably only had to turn up and put a kit on to improve because we were that bad! 

“Tonight I think we showed really good signs. We had a lot of good performances. We limited a very strong Lincoln team, who are very powerful and athletic, to very few chances in the game. 

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“They limited us to the same, by the way. So I felt a draw was probably a fair result. 

“For us to be behind and get a draw, it’s a positive point. It’s the first point on the board in front of me and it gives us something to build on.

“I’m delighted. We don’t like two defeats as a manager do we?! Even after four days in the job! It was really pleasing to get the point, especially in my first game at Portman Road. It’s such an historic ground. It’s a start. It's something to build on. We’re one of those teams who believe they’ve still got a chance." 

Asked what he said to his players at half-time, Cook quipped: “I’d love to tell you there was loads of tactical magic, unfortunately it just wasn’t! You’re just asking the lads to believe in themselves and keep going. You’ve got to believe you’re going to get back in the game, you don’t just make the numbers up. 

“I felt second half we controlled the game for long spells without really having a cutting edge. I feel with repetition on the training ground and hard work we can start finding that cutting edge that will see the likes of James Norwood and Troy Parrott getting supply and chances. At the minutes we’re not creating enough chances – and we accept that. 

“It’s something that we’ll go away and work hard at. 

“There wasn’t a lot of chances in the game tonight. I think both teams cancelled each other out.  

“It was probably two good teams cancelling each other out. That’s where the margins can be small and that little bit of magic can win you the game." 

Reflecting further on the game, Cook said: “Lincoln have got some good players. Rogers was excellent first half wasn’t he? Sometimes you just have to say well done to the opposition. 

“I think they are good at sucking teams onto them and counter-attacking the gaps with pace.  

“But our goalkeeper had a quiet night and so did theirs.  

"I thought we played well in a weird sort of way. We dominated possession for long spells second half without having that cutting edge and we limited a strong Lincoln team to few chances.  

“I don’t think there were any great chances in the game. Both sides got in great areas but lacked quality. I think both sides huffed and puffed. Probably a draw was a fair result in the end."

He added: “Saturday (at Gillingham) was a tough day for everyone, none more so than our fans. But I think they know that was very unlike us. 

“If you have three or four wins in this division, like we had, the reality is that you actually know a defeat is around the corner. Because teams are just not consistent. I don’t know why that is. 

“Tonight, from the disappointment of conceding a goal, I thought we played really well second half in a strange sort of way. We never dominated them, created chances and had efforts cleared off the line, but we looked a good side, we looked a balanced team.  

“I thought (Andre) Dozzell and Flynn Downes... I thought Teddy Bishop was excellent before he went off. We actually had people to speak about in a positive light and going forwards that’s what we need. We want good players at this football club."“