Why Cook has given Norwood Ipswich Town's captain's armband
- Credit: Pagepix/ITFC
Paul Cook would like to see striker James Norwood build ‘momentum’ next season after handing the striker the captain’s armband for Town’s last two matches.
Norwood leads Town’s scoring charts with nine goals but has suffered with hamstring injuries throughout the campaign, restricting him to just 28 appearances in all competitions.
Cook surprised many by giving the 30-year-old the captaincy for the games at Swindon and Shrewsbury, with the Town boss stressing there isn’t too much to read into the decision.
“James has played 28 games this season. With our players there’s a story behind everyone here, including James,” Cook said, when asked why he trusted Norwood with the armband.
“He’s come in as a talisman, he’s missed games for whatever reason. He hasn’t probably got that momentum.
“We haven’t probably had a balance in the team, we probably haven’t had a set pattern of play, we don’t put enough crosses into the box in games. Everyone’s had a story, James being no different.
“The story going forward for all players is that the first team at Ipswich Town comes first, 100 per cent it comes first and we’re all part of that.
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“Hopefully for James, he’ll be getting spoken to on Monday like everyone else. Giving him the captaincy was purely on a basis like the other lads who have been captain, Stephen Ward was captain, Luke Chambers is obviously club captain, James was the most senior player.
“James is part of a team that in my opinion has underachieved as well. We’ve all got our story in that.”
Norwood was asked how he approached the captaincy, admitting he isn’t necessarily the most vocal and at times tries to lead by example.
“I think it varies,” the striker said. “You can have vocal leaders and there are those who lead by example and put in the performances but I think it’s a culmination of all of them.
“If you can show the lads and set a way that you want to play, and if you set the standard, that’s probably the main thing as a captain.
"I try to be vocal as much as I can but I’m a little bit quiet in and around the changing rooms when it comes to shouting and hollering and things like that.
“But I try to put in as much effort as I can and try to chase things down, looking to lead by example in terms of how I play and how I press.”