'They've been criticised for two years... imagine what a little cuddle would do for them' - Cook

Paul Cook took Ipswich Town training for the first time on Thursday

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook. Photo: ITFC - Credit: ITFC

Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook says there will be no more more negativity from him in any shape or form as the club tries to secure a League One play-off place.

The charismatic Liverpudlian has always tried to maintain an upbeat and positive demeanour since taking charge at Portman Road, but in post-match interviews he has questioned his players' mental strength.

Town have slipped back to 11th place in the table after claiming just one win in Cook's first six games at the helm, but remain only two points adrift of the play-off places heading into their final 10 matches.

Asked if he's found some of the games a frustrating watch, the Blues boss replied - 'No!' - but laughed and pulled a face which suggested otherwise.

“It’s tough lads," he continued. "I watch all the manager interviews after games and see what they say. 

“The biggest thing I can say is that these players play for me, for the club and they represent us all. Sometimes we’re very quick to give them criticism. That’s not my style. That’s just not my style. 

“My style is to make these lads believe that we can achieve something this year at Ipswich Town Football Club that could go down in memory. 

“There’ll be no negativity from me in any shape or form. Our fans will crave different formations, different stuff and I’m about to deliver that for them. 

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“Like them I’ll be sitting, watching, hoping, praying that we get it right."

Speaking ahead of crunch Easter weekend games against relegation-battling duo Bristol Rovers (home, tomorrow) and Rochdale (away, Monday), Cook continued: “For us as a club, negativity comes in ever so quickly now. Players can shoulder negativity in different ways.  

“One of the ways that I’d criticise Ipswich is to say we’ve had too many injuries. 

“Now I’m not saying that players aren’t injured. I’m not saying that. But it becomes a nice place to be a treatment room when things aren’t going so well. 

“I prefer teams full of character and life and energy. The best place for those players is on the football pitch. 

“Going forwards that’s the only way it will be at Ipswich Town. It’s the only way."

Speaking further about negativity and criticism, Cook said: “It’s football today. You’ve got to live in that world. 

“If we were to win the next two games what would the same people be saying? That’s football today. You’ve got to live with it. 

“If you don’t want to live with pressure, don’t be in football. In my opinion the better players grow into those situations. 

“Our players have been getting criticised now for two years, two-and-a-half years. I’m sure they are well used to it. 

“Imagine what a little positivity, what a little cuddle, what a little love would do for them? That might help the situation over the final 10 games. 

“But fans want to say what fans want to say. I’m sure that a high percentage of them are totally behind these players now. They know that we could get promoted this year. That’s what we’ll concentrate on." 

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