Cook on a week of cramming and his disappointment at a 'down day' on the training ground

Paul Cook took Ipswich Town training for the first time on Thursday

Paul Cook had planned three double sessions for his Ipswich Town players this week - Credit: ITFC

Paul Cook has tried to cram as much training as possible into his first full week at Playford Road but was disappointed his players weren’t able to complete the programme as he had hoped. 

Town have had an intense Tuesday-Saturday schedule since Cook’s appointment as Town boss on March 2, leaving the new manager with just a handful of training sessions between games. This week was his first without a midweek match. 

Cook had planned three days of double sessions before giving his players Thursday off and travelling to Wigan on Friday, ahead of their weekend game, but revealed the players were unable to complete those sessions at the intensity he had hoped. 

“We’ve tried to do three days, we wanted to cram as much as we could into a week, we were doing three double sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” Cook said. 

“We trained really well on Monday, we did train really well, but obviously then through the modern-day sports science, the reaction of the players, the players probably weren’t strong enough to train again the second day like they did the first day, and that was really, really disappointing. 

“There’s nothing you can do about that, there’s nothing I can do, so we had to have a bit more of a down day yesterday. So, as you can imagine, we’re going to go for it again today (Wednesday).” 

The new Town boss was asked what he believed a realistic outcome from his first full week of training would be, with the former Wigan boss firm in his answer in the lead-up to his side’s visit to his former club. 

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“Win on Saturday, that’s realistic,” Cook said. “That’s what I want to achieve, that’s what all Ipswich Town fans want to achieve. 

“We’ve got a large hill to climb, of you like, and we can take our first steps on Saturday by winning the game at Wigan. 

“Since I’ve come in, the five games (W1 D1 L3), you learn so much about the club and that’s happening every single day. Everyone knows how I want to play so I don’t think debating that, in terms of our players (is helpful). 

“Our players need belief and confidence now and need to know I believe in them and I believe we can be successful this season. If they keep listening to me in interviews saying I’m not happy with this and I’m not happy with that, then they’ll go the other way on me. That’s not what I want. 

“I want the best of what I’ve got to shine between now and the end of this season.”