'It was a bit of a heavy weight' - Cook on Evans, Morsy and the Town captaincy
- Credit: Steve Waller
Paul Cook believes Ipswich Town are starting to see the best of midfielder Lee Evans now the weight of the captaincy has been lifted from him.
The Welshman wore the armband throughout pre-season and during the first six weeks of the League One campaign, before new club captain Sam Morsy took over following his arrival from Middlesbrough.
By his own admission, Evans’ start to life at Town has been a slow one, but since teaming up with former Wigan team-mate Morsy once again, the 27-year-old has netted a hat-trick against Doncaster and was arguably the Blues’ best player in both the victories over Portsmouth and Fleetwood over the course of the last week.
“I think Lee has, probably like a lot of lads, struggled to get going at times with the expectancy and everything else that comes with playing for a club of our size and captaining it,” Cook said.
“And I just think for Samy and for Lee and for all our players, it’s now time to shine.
“Lee was given the captaincy. I think it was common knowledge that we were searching for a captain. Lee was never brought in to be captain, but Lee was probably the best candidate around at that time.
“And Lee’s probably felt a little bit, I don’t like using the word pressure because I think that’s a strange word, isn’t it? But it was a little bit of a heavy weight on his shoulders, shall we say.
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“Now all of a sudden, he knows Samy inside out, they’ve obviously played together a lot.”
Morsy and Evans appear to have made the starting spots their own in Cook’s two-man midfield, with the likes of Rekeem Harper, Tom Carroll and Idris El Mizouni on the outside looking in right now.
“Samy’s not just been brought in to play with Lee Evans, you’ve got make that clear,” Cook stressed. “We’ve got really good competition for places in our team now, and all of a sudden we’ve got a couple of men in the team as well that can lead by example.
“So I think it complements Lee Evans, I think it complements a lot of the other players in the team and hopefully it contributes to a really good team ethic.”
Next up for Town is back-to-back visits to League One’s top two, starting with leaders Plymouth on Saturday ahead of a trip to second-placed Wycombe on Tuesday night.