'We need to be a well-oiled machine' - Cook looks ahead to Shrewsbury match
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook says he wants a 'well-oiled machine' of a team next season.
The Blues take on Shrewsbury Town at New Waters Meadow tomorrow (7pm ko) in their penultimate game of the campaign knowing they can only finish somewhere between seventh and 14th in the League One table.
It's been another disappointing season for the Blues in the third-tier of English football, but Cook still wants his side to finish it off with a little bit of pride.
Speaking after Saturday's 2-1 win at Swindon, he said: "It's never meaningless for players. James Norwood has got two goals. If he stays fit, can he get another couple of goals? As a team, can we put back-to-back wins together?
"I think everyone knows that change is coming. We keep saying the same messages. It's tough in media meetings when you keep speaking about the future when we've still got the present to deal with.
"We want to go to Shrewsbury and play better than we did at Swindon. And we want to win another game of football."
Town have 20 first team players coming to the end of contracts/loan spells and many look set to depart given Cook's comments about building his own team this summer with the backing of the club's new owners.
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"There have been no decisions made outwardly, so our players would have no idea what we're thinking at the minute," said the Blues boss. "The reality is you're playing for Ipswich Town Football Club and that should be a marker for every game you play in that you represent the club properly."
Asked about Shrewsbury, who are safe in the bottom half, Cook added: "I've never been great for oppositions. I respect every team we play. Everyone watches everyone and the match analysis is huge, but I prefer to focus on my team.
"I like to have what I call a well-oiled machine. When you're a well-oiled machine you're good to go. We're a long, long way from that, but we're certainly starting to work towards it."
Shrewsbury boss Steve Cotterill returned to the dugout at the weekend for the first time in 2021 following periods in and out of hospital with Covid-19 and pneumonia.
"I know Steve and I am absolutely delighted for him," said Cook. "He's obviously been through a very, very turbulent time. I'm sure he's had people rallying around him because he's a really good football guy. Like everyone who has suffered from coronavirus we send all our best wishes to him and his family. It will certainly be great to see him."