Mike Bacon: 'Cook's arrival feels like a game changer'

Paul Cook is the new manager of Ipswich Town

Game changer? Paul Cook - Credit: ITFC

OK, so let's be honest, we've been here before.

Marcus Evans and new managers that is.

Keane, Jewell, McCarthy, Hurst, Lambert.... now Mr Paul Cook.

Lee O'Neill has said there is no offer on the table to buy Marcus Evans' out of Ipswich Town

Marcus Evans, has hired and fired a few bosses at Town - Credit: Steve Waller

Whatever the 'Evans era' will be construed as in the Ipswich Town history books in the decades, centuries, to come, it won't be an overseer of 'stable management!'

But do you know what? I'm feeling really positive about Paul Cook.
I don't know what it is.

WATCH! Town beat Accrington on Tuesday night

Maybe we are just glad for a fresh start and fresh hope. Maybe it's because you see Wigan and Pompey fans saying they would have him back in a heartbeat. Maybe it's because I sense he is a genuine fans' man. Maybe it's because my son is at Liverpool Uni and Cook is a scouser... I don't know. I just feel good about it.

New Ipswich Town Manager Paul Cook with Gary Roberts at Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night

New Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook (right) and first team coach Gary Roberts at Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

And it's really nothing to do with Lambert going, or takeovers, or Evans or anything... just Paul Cook looking/appearing/sounding to me like he cares passionately about his football.

I don't just mean his tactics and formations. I get the feeling, again listening to fans of other clubs he's managed, he gets football fans. He gets what makes them tick. He gets why fans go to football. Why they love their clubs so much.

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Basically - a proper football bloke - (Please note here I say, 'proper football' bloke. Not a 'proper bloke'). There is a difference.

OK, so I don't know him and maybe he's none of the above. But I don't think I'm far off the mark.

James Norwood celebrates scoring just before half-time at Accrington

Town have a decent squad. Cook has a chance even this season - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

So, the very best of luck to Paul Cook. He has a real chance already this season to do something lacking at this club in recent years - giving the fans something to cheer about.

Our recent good form, coinciding in Lambert looking set to, then leaving, has suddenly changed the mood big time for all of us.

Of course, let's not get carried away, but look how Sunderland have kicked on since making changes. We will be next, I can feel it. And I tell you what, if we did get in the Championship under Cook - and the right investment came - we could be dreaming of all sorts of things again.

Town fans celebrating at Portman Road. Packed scenes like this won't be seen for some time yet, but up to 4,000 spectators...

Town fans will be hoping Town have the right man for the job - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

This is not pie in the sky talk.

I reckon Paul Cook is the type of manager who, if given the resources, could do this. Take us all the way to the Premier League. But he would need the resources.

Yes, I'm getting ahead of myself, I know. But I don't care. I've written nothing but doom, despair and misery in this column the last two months, nae years. I'm sick to death of it myself, let alone you poor people having to read it.

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But no more. I'm not going to say we are going to Gillingham on Saturday and winning 5-0, and there are lots of little issues within our squad that need ironing out. However, if we were to win - four on the bounce - then who knows?

'Cooking on Gas', 'The Cook Report', 'Ready, Steady Cook'.... 'Cook, Line and Sinker', the headings will roll out. We could be social distance dancing round Giles Statue in May, if we are ever allowed out again.

I genuinely don't care anymore if people think I'm being stupidly over-optimistic. There's something in the Portman Road air - and I don't mean the Woolpit Whiff!

Martijn Reuser helped Town into the Premier League while on loan

Paul Cook - he couldn't could he? Remember this great day 21 years ago as Martijn Reuser takes Town into the Premiership - Credit: PROFESSIONAL SPORT

Paul Cook's arrival just feels like a game-changer.

I so, so, so, hope I'm right and I so hope all the enthusiasm and loyalty from our fantastic fans is rewarded.

It couldn't happen, could it? 21 years on from our last Wembley appearance..... 'Reussssserrrr, Premiership'... and all that?

Then again, I'd rather go up automatic! (I know, you can't please everyone!)

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