Cook thanks owners for 'outstanding' signings
- Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook believes his squad is 'strong in every area of the pitch' following some eye-catching late transfer business.
Skillful attacker Bersant Celina and tenacious midfielder Sam Morsy were signed on transfer deadline, following hot on the heels of goalkeeper Christian Walton.
The Blues ultimately made 19 summer signings, with Cook now having a 28-man first team squad for the season ahead.
“Our three deadline day signings are outstanding footballers – they are players that any League One team would be proud to have in their side," enthused Cook, speaking ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Bolton Wanderers.
“We are very strong in every area of the pitch now. Any logical fan will look at us now and go 'yeah, they've got some squad in place'.
“Look at central midfield. (In addition to Morsy, Lee Evans and Rekeem Harper), Tom Carroll has had two outstanding training weeks now – he's been excellent. Jon Nolan is back training. Idris (El Mizouni) has been outstanding over pre-season. Training is lively, let me tell you!
“As a club steeped with great history I feel we’ve now got a squad to be proud of. I know our league position isn’t great, but the players we’ve got in the building now will take us where we want to be.
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"It’s an outstanding group and I thank Mark (Ashton) so much, Michael O’Leary, our chairman, and also the board for supporting me.
“All that we’ve asked for we’ve been given. Great credit to them."
Walton is set to go straight into the team tomorrow, but fans will have to wait a little longer to see Morsy (starting a three-game league suspension) and Celina (recovering from a Covid-related heart issue) in action.
But even with the likes of Kyle Edwards and Toto Nsiala also injured, Cook still has some real selection headaches.
"The day when everyone is fit and available is the one I’m looking forward to the most," said the Blues boss, who has always insisted he likes to work with small squads.
“Morsy and Celina were very much long-term targets and the reality is they were delivered very late.
“So probably the squad might be one or two heavier than where we wanted it to be, but we are absolutely delighted to have all our players because it’s going to be a long season.
"I won’t say I never will, but don’t really change winning teams. If you get your shirt, the reality is you’re going to keep it as long as we are winning."
He added: "The reality is the dust must settle on the club before we get up and running properly. It just has to. Only time can bring us together.
"But can we win games along the way that will put us in a position to be better off than we are today? That's the big challenge now."
IPSWICH TOWN SQUAD
Keepers: Walton*, Hladky*, Holy
Right-backs: Vincent-Young, Donacien
Centre-backs: Edmundson*, Burgess*, Woolfenden, Nsiala
Left-backs: Coulson*, Penney*
Centre-midfield: Morsy*, Evans*, Harper* Carroll*, Nolan, El Mizouni
Wingers/No.10s: Celina*, Edwards*, Chaplin*, Fraser*, Burns*, Aluko*, Barry*
Strikers: Bonne*, Pigott*, Norwood, Jackson.
* Summer signings