'I have a clear style of play... that will be evident from day one' - Cook on Town's identity
- Credit: ITFC
Paul Cook is intent on stamping his clear philosophy on Ipswich Town ‘from day one’.
The new boss takes charge of the Blues for the first time at Gillingham tomorrow, where a win in the early kick-off (1pm) could take his side up to fifth in the table, even if temporarily.
Cook, who has long played a similar 4-2-3-1 system to the one used during the final days of Paul Lambert, has a reputation for playing on the front foot, with energy and bravery.
And the new Ipswich manager is keen for his side to have a clear identity right from the start of his reign.
“We certainly want an identity as a team, a style of play, consistency in my team selection and consistency with my message to the players,” he said.
“And then the most important factor, working hard behind the scenes.
“It’s hard in football because everyone will speak about fitness levels. You can only be as fit as your team can be. You can only work as hard as your team can.
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“We’ll work very hard to get them to where we want to be and we’ll work very hard to make sure that what we do on a Saturday the players fully understand and we’re all committed to the same cause.
"I think the thing about my teams is that I do have an identity and I have a clear style of play. It's very much what I believe in, and that will be evident from day one.”
Cook joins Town at a time when the Blues have more than 25 senior players available and further strength in the club’s Under 23s, with the boss knowing he has a job on his hands to keep them all involved.
“We want to get the best out of everyone we've got here. And we also want everyone at the club to feel that they're going to get an opportunity to shine.
“It's hard to keep everyone happy when footballers aren't playing football. You shouldn't be happy. If they are happy, there's something wrong. So that's something we're going to have to overcome.”
Cook is also excited to work with the Blues’ academy, which has long been at the heart of the club.
“Without a shadow of a doubt,” he replied, when asked if he would like to bring young players through.
“There's a song fans sing where someone is ‘one of their own’, and I think there is nothing for a football fan like seeing one of their own on a football pitch because it's something that we can all identify with.
“So I'm no different than that. As a Liverpool fan, I love seeing Liverpool lads in our team because it should mean a bit more for you, shouldn't it?”