'Our most complete performance of the season' - Cook on 4-0 win at Portsmouth

Paul Cook talking to the local Ipswich media after the 4-0 win at Portsmouth

Paul Cook talking to the local Ipswich media after the 4-0 win at Portsmouth - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook said his team produced their 'most complete performance of the season' in winning 4-0 at Portsmouth tonight.

Macauley Bonne capitalised on a goalkeeper error at the end of a scrappy first half to score his 10th goal of the season, with Town getting on the front foot after the restart to ruthlessly finish off the match with finishes from Conor Chaplin, Sone Aluko and Wes Burns. 

"We just keep going," said Cook afterwards, his team up to 13th in the League One table having won five of their last eight games across all competitions.

"I know that's boring, but you just always have to go away, analyse, look at what you do and ask 'can we get better?'

"This is a really tough place to go and that was probably as complete a performance as we've had all season.

Macauley Bonne celebrates his goal against Portsmouth in the first half

Macauley Bonne celebrates his goal against Portsmouth in the first half - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

"I'm just so pleased for our supporters who travelled. I said to the players at half-time 'you have to score in front of those fans'. You had to give them that momentum that they want to give you to carry you home. We did that in abundance tonight.

"When you go away from home you've got to have men all over the pitch. Tonight we had a lot of them."

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With Town having now scored 27 goals in 13 league games, Cook said: "We've got goals in the team - that's quite apparent to everyone.

"We've got a striker that's red-hot, we've got a number 10 in Chaplin who is so infectious in everything he does and around that lads are growing.

"We made a few changes tonight and we'll keep doing that when we think it's right.

Conor Chaplin doubles Ipswich's lead at Portsmouth in the second half

Conor Chaplin doubles Ipswich's lead at Portsmouth in the second half - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

"(Toto) Nsiala came in and he's an absolute man mountain. (George) Edmundson moved to the left.

"Tonight was a really good team performance, it was a good squad performance, it was everything I like coming away from home.

"Today we made similar subs to Saturday with the seven, 10 and 11 coming on. On Saturday, when it goes wrong, you get absolutely slaughtered! Tonight, you don't. Three days in football is a long time isn't it?

"It was a good night. The important thing now is can we follow it up at Portman Road on Saturday (against Fleetwood)? Because our supporters will turn out again. Can we give them a taste that we could be on the road? What we can't do is continually take a step forwards by two steps back. We took one forwards tonight, now we'll make sure we try and take another one Saturday.

"Listen, we just keep going. My messages stay the same. As I said the other day, you don't get medals in October. There are no promotions, no relegations. You just stay focussed.

"Tonight we've shown we can come to probably one of the toughest away grounds in the country and win. We've got to keep that going."

Sone Aluko celebrates making the score 3-0 at Portsmouth in the second half

Sone Aluko celebrates making the score 3-0 at Portsmouth in the second half - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Asked how pleased he was with a rare clean sheet, Cook said: "If you'd have said to me before the game would I be happy to win 4-3 I'd have been doing handstands! But the goals against has hurt us all. We left Cambridge on Saturday all devastated because if we'd have seen that out our league position now would look very, very healthy.

"Your league position changes quickly when you win. It doesn't when you lose. The reality is we're now 13 games in. We just keep going."

With Town have battled well in a wind-affected first half that contained more fouls than shots, Cook said: "We've been so much better (in that respect) since we played Accrington. We just didn't turn up there and our supporters probably travelled home on the floor. We turned up at Cambridge but probably made some individual mistakes at crucial times.

"Tonight, everything that could have gone our way as the visiting team went our way. We made that happen. We didn't wait for Portsmouth, we went onto them in the second half.

"I'm delighted for the players and the supporters."

Wes Burns celebrates making the score 4-0 at Portsmouth in the second half

Wes Burns celebrates making the score 4-0 at Portsmouth in the second half - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

He added: "A lot gets written and a lot gets said. We've got a lot of new staff and players. How long does it take to change cultures at football clubs? There are some things you can't do in a short space of time. 

"Unfortunately for all football managers now we get judged so quick nowadays and it's not right. 

"I just stay level-headed and keep going. Now all my attentions are on Fleetwood because if we beat them on Saturday the table suddenly looks a lot different and our supporters get happy. That's the most important thing, our owners and our supporters."

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