Cook ready to have some 'brutally honest' contract conversations with players

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook on the touchline during the Sky Bet League One match at Portman Road,

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook is overseeing a major squad overhaul this summer. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook says he is ready to start having some 'brutally honest' conversations with the army of players nearing the end of their contracts.

The Blues have 13 bone fide first team squad players in the final weeks of their deals now - Luke Chambers, James Wilson, Toto Nsiala, Janoi Donacien, Stephen Ward, Cole Skuse, Emyr Huws, Teddy BIshop, Alan Judge, Gwion Edwards, Freddie Sears, Kayden Jackson and Aaron Drinan - with plenty more youngsters and fringe players also in the same boat.

There are also six loans deals - Luke Matheson, Mark McGuinness, Keanan Bennetts, Josh Harrop, Luke Thomas and Troy Parrott - soon set to expire too.

Barry Cotter saw his contract terminated by mutual consent this week, with Cook having hinted recently that more announcements of that type were on the way.

Asked how late in the day he might leave contract decisions, Cook said: “If I felt now that contracts could be offered out to players that I believe could be here (next season) then 100% we’ll start offering contracts out. 

“It’s something that Marcus (Evans), myself and Lee (O'Neill) are discussing daily, every two days. We’ve got a good meeting again tomorrow morning. 

“There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes and I think our supporters can be excited and happy with that."

He continued: “I don’t like lads being out of contract, I genuinely don’t. The reason why so many lads here are out of contract is that people generally aren’t happy with where we are. That’s the brutal truth of it. 

“The majority of players that I’ve worked with I’ve never had them out of contract. I don’t allow it.  

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“Going forward now, I’m screaming for lads to say to me ‘I want to be here in the future, I want to be part of this success story’."

Asked if more players could soon follow Cotter out the door, he said: “Going forward, we will start off on contracts out. There will be other players leaving the club, 100%. 

“I will make those decisions. I’ve been a player and sat there when managers have told me ‘well, we don’t really know what’s happening, we’re going to wait until the end of the season’. I will be a bit more brutally honest with my players than that, rest assured.

“It’s a really good topic that’s around the club and I’ve tried to answer it the best I can.” 

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