'Joe's staked a claim... but Bonne's impossible to leave out' - Cook on his striker options
- Credit: Steve Waller/PA
Paul Cook is pleased to see Joe Pigott stake a claim for a starting spot but acknowledged the former Wimbledon striker has a job on his hands to oust leading scorer Macauley Bonne.
Bonne’s been Town’s star man at the start of the season, netting eight goals in 10 appearances, while Pigott has now not started a league game since the end of August.
He does have three Ipswich goals to his name, though, including an excellent strike in Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy win at Gillingham.
Bonne is a certain starter if fit, meaning Pigott may need to remain patient unless Cook opts to slightly tweak his system in order to play the two together.
“It’s great for Joe,” Cook said.
“He’s a lovely lad who doesn’t lack confidence, so for him and (Conor) Chaplin to get on the pitch and for an Ipswich team to play like that was everything we expected from the cup games with Newport and West Ham as well (both losses).
“For all these lads it’s about how you train and how you play. Macauley Bonne has come in and taken the jersey. He’s made it impossible for him to be left out and has been one of the big pluses for us.
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“That makes it harder for the other strikers at the club to get in. What Joe did on Tuesday night was exactly what people should do – stake a claim by saying ‘gaffer, I’m ready if you need me to play’.
“That’s what we want at our club. We want lads champing at the bit to play and putting their hands up.”
Like Bonne, defender Janoi Donacien is a player who has taken his chance after coming into the Ipswich side, bringing a calming presence to the defence since replacing Kane Vincent-Young.
“Janoi’s been outstanding since he’s been back in the team and has been one of the better performers in terms of consistency,” Cook said of the defender.
“For all the good teams around the country, doing what it says in the tin is important. For us at the minute we’re still establishing what players bring to the team and what the ingredients make our best team and formation, in and around what we do.
“JD has come in and staked a claim for himself at right-back and done that really well.”