Fuller Flavour: I still don't think Cook knows his best team
- Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town fan Karl Fuller returns after a short illness to share his thoughts on the Blues...
Since my last column, it has not been too bad has it?
Four games saw three victories, we have reached the lofty heights of 14th place in the table and even won a cup match comfortably.
It points to better times than a few weeks ago but it just does not seem all tickety-boo at present.
Is the thirst for more too much? That defeat at Accrington in amidst a half-decent run seems to be the basis for the worry.
Before delving into those concerns, the Doncaster game was the massive relief we all needed. As poor as they were, it was great to see so many goals fly in.
It was the first 6-0 win I had witnessed since we beat Nottingham Forest in March 2005 and only the eighth game I had seen us score six or more in 43 years of supporting Town.
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The night before this game, I had been ill and doubt that I had more than an hour’s sleep. But I kid you not, I had a dream that Town would win 6-0. My regret was that I did not have a bet on it.
Amongst the contingent I stand with at games is a chap called ‘Blakey’. As the fourth goal went in, news broke that he had a few bob on Macauley Bonne to score first (which he did), and Town to win 4-0.
We urged him to check his phone for the ‘cash-out’ option and lo and behold, he could not get onto the internet.
He lost the bet of course but also the chance of taking something decent at 4-0 with odds at 60/1!
A few hours after that game I was hospitalised and when the Accrington game came around, I was still on morphine which helped me tremendously to not think about that result too much.
But it did raise the concern that at grounds where the going gets tough, we are seemingly unable to cope.
It is often labelled as a ‘northern’ thing as fans will tell us that we just don’t do well at these places. But we won at Accrington last season, as we did at places such as Hull and Blackpool.
There were fans missing at those games. Do raucous home supporters at these grounds make it difficult for us?
Whilst not northern, I will throw in Cheltenham and Burton as two more examples this season where we have lost. But each of those defeats had the fine margins of ’what if’ attached to them.
Whilst not being able to be at the last couple of games, it felt very weird being an outsider looking in.
The 2-0 win at Gillingham sounded comfortable enough, but the win over Shrewsbury had me receiving texts and gleaning opinions from social media that the performance was not that great.
More the worry is that Paul Cook was not happy. I felt that it was comforting to not be at the game, yet able to enjoy the result.
I know, I know, we all want to be there and then every kick, pass, tackle and run is analysed to the nth degree, and we get deeply involved.
Part of me is happy with this mini run we are on, but then I am also worried that this is not the touch-paper to ignite the long unbeaten run we all crave.
We will find out more against Cambridge on Saturday I guess, another small ground where we can expect a decent atmosphere.
Nobody would be that surprised if we lost, but if we won, would it sway thoughts more positively?
All I can reiterate is that the current process still needs to develop and patience is required for a bit longer.
I think some of the trouble is that Cook still does not know his best team, one where the midfield is as expansive as it often is, but can also be more compact to link defence to attack.
I could not pick a settled three behind Bonne myself at present, other than keeping Wes Burns on the right.
I do wonder if Cook is as muddled as I am in this area of the line-up.