'It was a no-brainer... it sends out the right message' - Cook on Donacien's new Town deal
- Credit: Steve Waller
Paul Cook had no hesitation in pushing for Ipswich Town to extend Janoi Donacien’s contract with the club.
The 28-year-old defender has signed a one-year extension to a deal which was due to expire next summer, having forced his way into Cook’s thinking during the opening three months of the season.
“I’m absolutely delighted for Janoi,” Cook said.
“He’s a really popular lad, a really good ambassador for the club off the pitch and no maintenance whatsoever from a staff point of view. But more importantly than all of that, he’s a very good player on the pitch.
“I felt it was a no-brainer to recommend to the club that we reward him and Mark (Ashton, CEO) was very quick to pick that up."
The Town boss believes Donacien’s new contract helps cement the fact players within the club will be rewarded for their progress, rather than replacements being sought from outside after the club completed a huge summer overhaul and brought in 19 new players.
He said: “We’ve seen Idris sign a new deal last week and now Janoi as well, which is great because it sends a message out that it’s not just about signing players. It’s also about players in the building at the club proving they should be in the team.
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“Janoi’s done that.”
Donacien was not at Ipswich when Cook took over in March, due to the fact he was on loan at Fleetwood. But, after the option was taken on his previous contract in the summer and he was given a chance to prove his worth during pre-season, the defender has become an important part of the Town squad after impressing his new boss both on and off the pitch.
And Cook has stressed having the right characters at the club, as well as the right players, is integral to Ipswich’s success.
“We put together a squad last summer and, in my opinion, the work is only just starting at Ipswich Town,” he said. “That’s how I look at it.
“Going forward we want the right characters in the building and players who are not only good on the pitch, but also around the club and in the community.
“The supporters can then relate with that and, more importantly, that leads to success on the pitch. That’s what we all out.”
Speaking after signing his new deal, Donacien said: "I'm really happy to have it done.
"We've been speaking about it for a couple of weeks. I've been enjoying my football here and I want that to continue.
"I'm happy to be playing regularly and the group here is really close. We're getting stronger and I want to continue to be a part of that.
"I've received some nice messages from supporters and been getting some praise for my work. There is a good vibe and this is a really good place to be."