'We have a fantastic run-in on paper... but we play on pitches' - Cook on Town's final 11 games

Paul Cook will lead Ipswich Town at Portman Road for the first time this evening

Paul Cook won't take Ipswich Town's kind run-in for granted - Credit: Pagepix

Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook will not be lulled into a false sense of security by his side's ‘fantastic run-in'. 

Saturday’s trip to Wigan begins a run of three games against teams in serious relegation trouble, with the Latics sitting 22nd, Good Friday opponents Bristol Rovers 21st and Easter Monday hosts Rochdale bottom of the table. 

Town’s final 11 games include seven contests against teams currently in the bottom six, three more against teams in the bottom half and just one (Charlton away) against a team inside the top 12 in the League One table.  

As things stand, the average position of Town’s remaining opponents is close to 19th, though a number of those sides are in good form and are upwardly mobile. 

But Cook rejected any suggestion a kind-on-paper run-in would be an easy prospect as he looks to lead his side into the play-offs. 

“One of the good things, as you guys know, on paper we have a fantastic run-in,” Cook said. “Unfortunately, we don’t play on paper, we play on pitches. 

“You will get to know me over a period of time. I have the utmost respect for every team we play. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, everyone wants to beat Ipswich Town. 

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“If you look at Fleetwood last week for an example, Fleetwood were magnificent against us on Tuesday night and they never offered much on the Saturday against Swindon at home (a 2-0 loss). That’s what can happen with clubs with not as much stature as us. 

“For us, the demands on us are set every week, every Tuesday, every Saturday, we’ve got to hit those heights. 

“From there we will concentrate on the Wigan game and if we can beat Wigan on Saturday, it will put us in a great place going towards Bristol Rovers on the Friday.” 

When asked how important mental strength will be between now and the end of the season, Cook stressed it’s time for the talking to stop as his side look to deliver on the pitch. 

“I think people know, we are massively a work in progress as a club now. We are what we consider a giant in this division that doesn’t want to be in the league. 

“To get out of the league, you can’t keep talking about it every week and keep coming up with stupid statements. Less talking and more action.” 

Ipswich Town fixtures

March 27: Wigan Athletic - a (22nd)

April 3: Bristol Rovers - h (21st)

April 5: Rochdale - a (24th)

April 10: MK Dons - h (13th)

April 13: AFC Wimbledon - a (23rd)

April 17: Charlton Athletic - a (7th)

April 20: Northampton Town - a (20th)

April 24: AFC Wimbledon - h (23rd)

May 1: Swindon Town - a (19th)

May 4: Shrewsbury Town - a (17th)

May 8: Fleetwood Town - h (15th)

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