Cook: I can't rule out playing two strikers

Ipswich Manager Paul Cook in good cheer after the pre-season friendly win at Dartford

Ipswich Manager Paul Cook in good cheer after the pre-season friendly win at Dartford - Credit: Pagepix

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook says he cannot rule out playing two strikers this coming season.

Throughout his decorated managerial career, the Blues boss has always favoured a 4-2-3-1 system based around attack-minded full-backs, dynamic midfielders and wingers drifting inside.

Cook initially chopped and changed formations in the search for a winning formula after taking charge at Portman Road, but made it clear towards the end of last season that he would no longer be selecting systems to accommodate personnel anymore.

So does that mean only one of the current three strikers at the club will start? Not necessarily.

"A quality player of Joe Pigott's calibre coming in is just another statement of where we're at and what we're trying to do," said Cook, after the Blues beat Championship competition to the signing of a player who netted 20 goals for AFC Wimbledon in League One last season.

Joe Pigott has signed a three-year deal with Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town have beaten Championship clubs to the signing of striker Joe Pigott. Photo: ITFC - Credit: ITFC

"In Macauley Bonne (on loan from Championship club QPR), James Norwood (Town's topscorer for the last two seasons) and Joe Pigott, we have three lads to call upon for the top end of the pitch.

"Next season we will obviously play a certain style. I think at times, at home, we will have to go with... not two up front... But, I presume at times, teams will come with a low block, as they say now, and we will have to find ways to win.

"So, certainly two strikers on the pitch I would never rule out."

Cook, who paired Norwood and Bonne in attack for last weekend's pre-season opener at Dartford, continued: "The excitement builds and why shouldn't it? We should be looking at the season with great optimism.

Macauley Bonne before the pre-season friendly at Dartford

Macauley Bonne is back at hometown club Ipswich Town - the club he grew up supporting. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix

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"We have signed good players, we have still got good players at the club, we are going to sign one or two more. Let's see where that takes us.

"I think the quicker we can get to the end of our business the better. It's about integrating the players who are going to have each others' backs every day,  every week over the course of the season. Sometimes that squad togetherness can only come over a bit of time.

"From my point of view, it's about getting the squad in place as quick as you can."

He added: "We start off against Morecambe at home (on August 7). It will be a great occasion for myself, for Gary (Roberts), Franny (Jeffers), Ian (Craney) and John Keeley, for our fans returning to the stadium, for our new owners, for Mark Ashton, for Luke (Werhun), for Andy Rolls, Andy Costin and Jon Ashton.

"It's going to be a really big day and it's one we are working towards."

James Norwood before the pre-season friendly at Dartford

Despite injuries, James Norwood was Ipswich Town's topscorer during his first two seasons at the club. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix