Fuller Flavour: Next Town boss will show us how serious our owners are

Paul Cook with Brett Johnson and Mark Ashton after the 2-1 victory at Portman Road

L-R: CEO Mark Ashton, Paul Cook and Ipswich Town co-owner Brett Johnson after the Fleetwood win earlier this season. The smiles have quickly faded - Credit: Ray Lawrence

Ipswich Town fan Karl Fuller gives his thoughts on the sacking of Paul Cook - and what comes next....

No sooner had I written this week’s column and sent it off, news came through of Paul Cook’s sacking.

From writing of more misery to rewriting one of reflection. Only last week, I wondered if I would be overly bothered if Cook left. In truth, I cut both ways now it has happened.

I am sad that it did not work out for him. The renewed hope and excitement during the summer and going into the new season for me, was one of a complete package.

New owners, new(ish) manager and new players were all something to look forward to. As the season unfolded, my very close friends were soon questioning Cook.

Thumbs up from Town manager Paul Cook as he headed back to the changing room at half time.

Paul Cook lasted just 44 games at Town - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

I heard their fears but remained positive and preferred the longer outlook of patience. But, it was clear to see as time went on, things were not working.

Whether it was right, however, to sack Cook after just four months of working with this new squad is open to debate in some quarters.

But for others, the ship of goodwill and excitement well and truly sailed and disappeared over the horizon. Left in its wake was another concerned fanbase wondering when it would get any better.

Concerns came from supporters who care about their club and were worried that the lack of progress would lead to another season of abject failure when four or five months ago, we were all buoyed with optimism.

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One thing is for sure, this was a savage mauling of a decision by the Three Lions and co. It shows they will not hang around and clearly mean business in achieving their aspirations for the club.

I wish Paul Cook well in the future and no doubt he will soon be in charge elsewhere and pulling up the trees we so wished he could have done here.

One of my reasons of not necessarily wanting Cook out was because I wondered what next.

Ipswich Town owner Brett Johnson, pictured during his first visit to Portman Road

Co-owner Brett Johnson and his fellow Three Lions have shown a ruthless streak by sacking Paul Cook - Credit: Ross Halls

One statistic I had always been proud of was that until in recent years, our club stood by managers and gave them time. We have had a relatively small number in charge compared to other clubs, who have had more in this millennium alone than we have had in our entire history.

But times have changed I suppose. Success is demanded more quickly, patience wears quicker and more money is about to pay off outstanding contracts.

And not only what next, but what happens if when the new man comes in, nothing changes as seems to be the common theme at our seemingly cursed club? Do we get rid of him at the end of the season, or within a year?

The question on all our minds is who will be next in charge? When Paul Lambert was sacked, Cook was an obvious choice. I cannot see one now, but the next appointment will show how serious our owners are.

I would be surprised if it was a journeyman like a Simon Grayson type. Could Gamechanger 20 and Co. sell their project to a Frank Lampard? Or could they opt for someone of Ryan Lowe’s ilk?

John McGreal is our caretaker manager. I had been calling for him to join the club for a while now. It seems strange that he should come here to assist the manager of our Under 23’s.

Former Colchester United boss John McGreal is looking to return to management

John McGreal is Town's caretaker boss - Credit: PA

He should have been involved at first-team level a while ago as Cook’s assistant. The coaching staff set-up may have contributed to Cook’s problems, especially without his regular sidekick Leam Richardson.

Whoever the new man is, they will come into a good environment for sure. I have been to enough football grounds up and down the country over the years to know that Portman Road is just about the nicest place for a manager to work in.

The majority of supporters are well-educated in their football, patient and as both our home and away numbers testify, supportive. The majority will be behind the new man. It will be an interesting few days/weeks ahead.

To leave you on a positive note, we made it into the hat for the third-round draw of the FA Cup. That was one objective of Saturday achieved at least. We just need to win another replay.

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