'They walked into us heavy' - Cook on 6-0 thrashing of Doncaster

Janoi Donacien and Macauley Bonne after the final whistle.

Janoi Donacien and Macauley Bonne after the final whistle. - Credit: stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook wants his team to build some powerful momentum after they thrashed rock-bottom Doncaster Rovers 6-0 at Portman Road tonight.

The Blues recorded their first home victory of the campaign in style, Lee Evans bagging a hat-trick, Macauley Bonne adding two more to his goal tally and George Edmundson also getting on the scoresheet 

Following a slow start to the season, Cook's new-look squad have now claimed seven points from the last three matches to move up to 19th in the League One table ahead of Saturday's trip to Accrington Stanley.

"We've been fighting to become a team and tonight is probably the first time we looked a team," said Cook.

"There was a spell at 2-0 where we under a bit of pressure and we were wobbling, 100%, but this team has got that resilience now. And we clearly carry that goal threat.

"Tonight it looked like we had players who enjoyed playing with each other. It looked like we're getting relationships built. 

Lee Evans wheels away.

Lee Evans wheels away. - Credit: stephenwaller.com

"After the Bolton game (a 5-2 home loss) there was so much criticism. I watched that game the same as every other fan - we were weak, we were loose, we were open, we were everything you don't like about the game. Then look at us 10 days, two weeks later, whatever it is - it shows you what work on the training pitch does. 

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"I'm a great believer that managers and coaches need time. We've signed 19/20 players. Tonight our fans have seen glimpses of what we can do. Now they want to see more of it. So do I, so does mark (Ashton) and so does everyone else at the club."

Cook continued: "We think we're going to get stronger. Where will that lead us to? None of us know. One thing's for sure, we're going to work very hard.

"I've appreciated everyone's support because my record here hasn't been good. I get that. I was more disappointed than anyone last year that I couldn't get the team in the play-offs. It absolutely hurt me and shocked me if the truth be told.

"Then at the start of this season we don't win and have a few disappointments. As an experienced manager you revert to type. My type is work hard on the training ground. It's as simple as that."

Town manager Paul Cook looks on.

Town manager Paul Cook looks on. - Credit: stephenwaller.com

Asked if this could be 'lift off', Cook grimaced and replied: "Guys, you know what it's been like with Ipswich. I think in previous years we've been near the top of the league. This year, we've been nearly bottom of the league. Who knows what will happen? None of us know.

"All we do know is we will work hard. Our players won't come up for breath. We will stay on our players as a staff and the players will stay on each other. If you want to be successful you have to sacrifice and work hard. That's what we'll do."

On the game itself, Cook said: "I'm not so sure sure Lee Evans is supposed to be scoring the goals, but we'll take it!

"Everyone was great. I won't go into individual plaudits. I'll just be quite quiet. My sympathy is with Richie (Wellens). They've had a long trip to Plymouth and then they have to come to Ipswich on the Tuesday night. That can't be right, can it? Come on. 

"You've got so speak well about Doncaster. If you look at the weight of our squad and the power we have off the bench, and you compare that to what Richie has... They've walked into us tonight. They've walked into us heavy.

"I wish them a safe journey home. Their fight is not our fight. They are two totally different fights. They'll lick their wounds and hopefully come back stronger on Saturday.

"Obviously I'm delighted for us. Now we just move on to the next game."

With this being Town's first home win in front of an unrestricted crowd since February 2020, Cook said: "It was great for the support and it was great for myself and the staff. The support we've felt has been amazing. I'm absolutely delighted for everyone. I'm quite a simple fella, I'm a simple manager and we'll be back in tomorrow to get ready for Accrington to try to keep this little run going.

"Our messages won't change. Our great belief is working hard in training and trusting in the players. This is the stage where you want to perform and tonight we performed well."

On Sam Morsy's impressive league debut in midfield, Cook said: "I'm obviously a big Samy fan - you know that. Big credit to the owners, to Mark, for pursuing him. I thought (Bersant) Celina looked fitter and stronger tonight. You can go on. I don't really want to talk about individuals though."  

Asked if he felt his team were due to give someone a hiding at some point, the Blues boss said: "I never felt that. It's not a nice word, is it? I walked off here as a manager having been beaten by five not so long ago. My blood was absolutely boiling. I never slept for three nights. That's footy. 

"Then I thought to myself 'I've been brought here to make this club better, sort it out'. I think the really pleasing thing for me is that since that Bolton game we've seen real signs of solidity in the team. We all know we've got quality, that's there for everyone to see. The work rate, the desire and the solidity is the main thing."

On the joyous scenes at the end, he said: "I love seeing fans happy. Til the day I leave the club I will only ever do my best. I'll live with the lows and I'll live with the highs. Hopefully we can have a little bit of success. If we don't it won't be for the want of hard work that's for sure.

"But, as I keep saying, my commiserations do go to Doncaster because they've had a tough four days."

What sort of statement does tonight's result make to the rest of the league? Will expectations now rise?

"I don't care," said Cook. "I've got no interest in that. We'll travel to Accrington on Saturday. I know John (Coleman) and he'll be absolutely desperate to beat us. No matter the expectations, when you manage big clubs you have to perform. Tonight we've turned up."

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