'The answer to your question is in my reply' - Cook on whether he'll go with Bonne or Pigott

Macauley Bonne and Joe Pigott are vying for starting spots at Burton

Macauley Bonne and Joe Pigott are vying for the one striker spot at Ipswich Town. - Credit: Steve Waller/PA

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook has heavily hinted that Macauley Bonne will return to the team for tomorrow's FA Cup second round home tie against Barrow.

The Blues boss made 11 changes in midweek and a team of largely fringe players exited the Papa John's Trophy to Arsenal U21s, squandering a 2-0 lead at Portman Road before losing a penalty shootout.

Joe Pigott spoke after that game about his frustration at a lack of game-time this season, with the former AFC Wimbledon striker hopeful he'd get another chance to get fully up to speed tomorrow.

But will Cook want to reinstate the previously red-hot Bonne to his line-up, giving him chance to end a five-game goal drought, ahead of a big League One game at Charlton next Tuesday night?

“If you’d have spoken four weeks ago about leaving Macauley Bonne out the team then you wouldn’t have been allowed in Ipswich town centre!" joked Cook. 

"Now four weeks later we’re speaking about Macauley Bonne being left out the team. That’s what football is today! 

“I just live in a solid world me. I just make my decisions off a solid base. I'm a very loyal manager. I try and be consistent to players that do well for me. 

“So I think the answer to your question is probably in my reply."

Town manager Paul Cook shouting instructions from the touchline.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook shouting instructions from the touchline. - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c

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He continued: “You speak about Joe Pigott not getting many games. I can shut my eyes and remember Joe getting picked at Oldham, Colchester and on Wednesday. So Joe’s had three games in two or three weeks, hasn’t scored, missed two penalties, but that’s football isn’t it? 

“And I’m not hanging Joe out to dry in any shape or form guys, I'm just saying that’s the football world today. 

“We want consistency. We want lads to grab a shirt, take the shirt and keep the shirt. Unfortunately for us we probably haven’t had enough of them this season."

Asked if the team he selects for tomorrow will be made with the midweek trip to Charlton in mind, Cook replied: “One of the things I think our fans will be comfortable with is how difficult it is at the minute, for whatever reason, to pick what we deem is our strongest Ipswich Town team. 

“The epitome of it was against Oldham at home in the cup when we produced one of our most flattest performances of the season four days after playing so well at Wycombe. 

“I think that encompasses the difficulties we are having in relation to picking consistent teams and trying to get consistent performances. 

“The reality is we want to pick the strongest team tomorrow afternoon that we feel will take us into the third round of the cup."

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