'A rut had set in and it needed to change... we will have got one or two wrong' - Cook on his Ipswich Town squad cull

Paul Cook allowed the likes of Andre Dozzell and Jack Lankester to leave Ipswich Town this summer

Paul Cook allowed the likes of Andre Dozzell and Jack Lankester to leave Ipswich Town this summer - Credit: PA

Paul Cook knows some of the players he moved out of Ipswich Town this summer will prove him wrong, but remains convinced a cull was needed to reboot the club. 

It’s been a huge summer of change at Portman Road, as more than 20 members of last season’s squad were shown the door and more exits likely to follow. Long-serving duo Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse were among those released, with academy products Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop and Jack Lankester also allowed to depart.  

Cook has been reluctant to discuss the decisions he made in May, having previously branded himself ‘Demolition Man’, and has stressed his only focus is on the present and future. But, speaking on the Totally Football League Show, he admitted he knows there is a chance some of those who have left will go on to have good careers. 

“Last season I was disappointed I couldn’t get more out of the team,” he said. “I just felt there was something which had become apparent within the club that needed to change.  

“Within that, if you make so many changes, you’re always conscious that you’ll get one or two wrong. Without a shadow of a doubt we’ll have let one or two players go that will go on and still have good careers. 

“But there was a rut set in at Ipswich Town that isn’t good at big clubs. It wasn’t correct and the feel wasn’t right, so changing it was important. 

“Obviously as we sold players along the way it’s helped us finance bringing others in, because I think our owners are about progressing the club going forward for the future. 

“Within that I think and hope we’ve signed players who can go on the pitch at Portman Road and do this club justice on the pitch.” 

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Cook was also asked about his side's summer spending, which has so far seen 10 players arrive in Suffolk and has led to the Blues being labelled ‘Chequebook FC’ by those on the outside looking in. 

“I think what’s important and what I think is lost at times, is that when we came in last year we had a squad of 43 players,” he said. 

“Within that, we’ve not retained many at all. We’ve sold Andre Dozzell to QPR and let Liam Gibbs go to Norwich, all for good money. We’ve brought in probably close to £2million so the reality is a lot of our spending has been funded and a lot of players who left the club have been replaced on the wage bill. 

“So I think the fact there isn’t a lot of spending anywhere else in English football means any club like ours which is spending is deemed to be a ‘big spender’. The reality is we’re probably only replacing what we’ve lost with new players. 

“Albeit with Rekeem Harper, Conor Chaplin and a few of the lads we’ve signed being good players who we think can benefit the club.” 


IN (10): Wes Burns (Fleetwood, undisc), Lee Evans (Wigan, free), Rekeem Harper (West Brom, undisc), Macauley Bonne (QPR, loan), Vaclav Hladky (Salford, undisc), Matt Penney (Sheff Weds, free), Joe Pigott (AFC Wimbledon, free), Scott Fraser (MK Dons, undisc), George Edmundson (Rangers, undisc), Conor Chaplin (Barnsley, undisc).

OUT (17): Andre Dozzell (QPR, £1m), Luke Chambers (Colchester, free), Gwion Edwards (Wigan, free), Cole Skuse (Colchester, free), James Wilson (Plymouth, free), David Cornell (contract terminated, joined Peterborough), Freddie Sears (Colchester, free), Alan Judge (Colchester, free), Oli Hawkins (Mansfield, undisc), Jack Lankester (Cambridge Utd, undisc), Aaron Drinan (Leyton Orient, undisc), Stephen Ward (Walsall, free), Teddy Bishop (Lincoln, undisc), Harry Wright (Fleetwood, free), Adam Przybek (Wycombe, free), Emyr Huws, Tristan Nydam (both released). 

LOANS EXPIRED (6): Mark McGuinness, Luke Matheson, Josh Harrop, Keanan Bennetts, Luke Thomas, Troy Parrott. 

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