'Let's go all the way' - Cook on shootout win against Colchester

Paul Cook heads for the changing rooms at half-time at Portman Road

Paul Cook heads for the changing rooms at half-time at Portman Road - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook says he is targeting a run to the final of the Papa John's Trophy after his side's penalty shootout win against Colchester United at Portman Road tonight.

The Blues are now four wins away from Wembley after Sone Aluko scored the decisive spot-kick following a closely-contested goalless stalemate against the League Two visitors.

"It was great to see Portman Road so happy at the end of the game," said Cook. "You desperately want to get through. People look at games as a problem and just don't understand that. In the modern day world if you want to be a successful club you've got to play more games than everyone. Long may that continue for us.

"We're in the next round, it's a good competition, there's a final at Wembley so let's try and go all the way."

Ipswich players celebrate their 4-3 penalties win at Portman Road against Colchester Utd

Ipswich players celebrate their 4-3 penalties win at Portman Road against Colchester Utd - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Having made nine changes to the team which drew 1-1 with Oldham in the FA Cup at the weekend, Cook said: "I thought we were excellent. Everyone can have their own opinion, but ours was a team that hasn't played together. We had (Scott) Fraser and (Rekeem) Harper in the middle of the pitch and I thought both were excellent on the night. There was a lovely balance in the team. I thought Aluko was excellent, (Conor) Chaplin was a constant threat. You can go right through the team.

"We had a lot of really good performances. I said to the guys before the game that the starting eleven had the shirts after the Wycombe game. They were the team. Unfortunately, after Saturday's game they put the shirts back on the table and said 'does anyone want to take mine?' That's what competition is like at good clubs. As a manager I'm not scared to make changes that's for sure."

Asked if players had given him food for thought ahead of Saturday's crunch home clash with Oxford United, Cook said: "A hundred per cent - without a doubt. We know we've got good players. Tonight I think we deserved to win. Colchester are a really good club, they came here, they got numbers behind the ball, they parked the bus at times, but were always a threat on the break.

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"I'm really pleased we got through."

On having to take off Kane Vincent-Young and Myles Kenlock at the break, Cook explained: "Unfortunately we've had to take both full-backs off again at the break. Kane had a bang on his shoulder and Myles Kenlock was ill. He declared himself fit yesterday but was vomiting at half-time. They're not the subs we want to make. We want to strengthen the team at the top end."

Asked if his team had practised penalties, Cook replied: "No! You can't recreate that pressure. Great credit to Vas for making a big save. Great credit to our players that scored.

"I told Santy to walk up dead slow and slot it in calmly. I wish we could have 10 penalty takers like Santy every time."

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