Morsy on 'shock' of Cook sacking and McGreal's message

Sam Morsy applayds fans after the game.

Ipswich Town captain Sam Morsy says he was 'shocked' to hear the club had sacked manager Paul Cook. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller - stephenw

Ipswich Town captain Sam Morsy admits he was left ‘shocked’ and ‘sad’ by the club’s decision to sack manager Paul Cook. 

Morsy enjoyed success under Cook’s management at both Chesterfield and Wigan. As a result, he was persuaded to drop down from Championship club Middlesbrough on transfer deadline day to be reunited with his former boss. 

Christian Walton, Lee Evans and Conor Chaplin also came to Portman Road to play under Cook again as part of the Liverpudlian's major summer rebuild, but just a few months on and he has been dismissed with the team sitting 11th in the League One table.  

“The chief executive Mark Ashton gave me a call to tell me first before it had been released and he obviously asked for professionalism during this time,” said Morsy. 

“I was shocked really.  

“Obviously the manager has brought everyone to the club, I have been successful with the manager over a number of seasons, so it’s sad. I think all the players were shocked. It was sad to see the manager go. 

“He’s the reason I came here and he’s the reason most of the lads came here if I’m honest. 

Paul Cook and Sam Morsy celebrate winning the League One title at Wigan

Paul Cook and Sam Morsy (right) celebrate winning the League One title at Wigan - Credit: PA

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“It’s really disappointing, but as an experienced player I have been in this situation before. It’s never nice, but we just have to regroup and make sure that come kick-off on Tuesday (at Charlton) we are energetic and ready to go.” 

Morsy continued: “He was really popular. The staff tried to do their best, they worked really, really hard. Unfortunately us as players just haven’t quite been good enough. 

“I have spoken to him to wish him well. It’s one of those things. Obviously the club has invested a lot of money, so I don’t think they have a lot of patience in order to get success. 

“Like I said, it’s down to the players on the pitch really. A manager never gets sacked for what he does, it’s what the players do on the pitch. 

“The effort was absolutely there, the commitment was there, but the results in recent weeks haven’t been where we wanted. And it's a cut throat business, isn't it?  

“The fine margins have gone against us. Look at Oxford and Sunderland...  

“But the way we started the season has meant that any sort of slip up was going to be a lot bigger than what it actually was.” 

Speaking about Cook further, Morsy said: “He’s a great guy, honest, loyal. He put everything into the club to try and get us success. He was working as hard as I’ve ever seen him work, he was as focussed as I’ve ever seen him. 

“But these jobs take a little bit of time. 

“Like I said, I think the start has really impacted us. Those first eight games of the season meant any sort of dip – and there has been a dip – was always going to be magnified. 

“Look at how well we played against Sunderland... but we end up losing 2-0. If we win that game... But because of how we started our season is on a knife’s edge. 

“If Oxford and Sunderland were both wins, which they should have been, then we are in a completely different situation now. 

“But the owners have put a lot of money in, they want immediate success, they want success this season and they made their decision.” 

With Cook’s coaches Francis Jeffers, Gary Roberts, Ian Craney and John Keeley having also departed, Morsy said: “They tried really hard, they put on good sessions, they have been really close to the lads. They did everything you could have asked really. 

“It was the easy thing for people to talk about the inexperience of the first team coaches, but they have been great. They were as good as any I have worked with. 

“Unfortunately, in football, you are always looking for a scapegoat and ‘that’s the reason’. It’s never that simple. It’s never just one thing behind success or failure. 

“Of course people have their opinions and that’s just the way it goes. If we were winning then people would be saying what good coaches they are. That’s just the nature of football. 

“They are really good guys and, yeah, look, as a squad we have let them down a bit to be honest.” 

Town take on Charlton, at The Valley, tomorrow night under the management of interim boss John McGreal. 

“We’ve had our meetings and discussed what’s expected over the next few days,” said Morsy. 

“It’s one of those. We have to clear our heads and prepare for Charlton and try and get a win really. 

“I think the supporters have been really, really good. But I think the atmosphere wasn’t great on Saturday (during a 0-0 draw with League Two side Barrow in the FA Cup). There were a few boos in the crowd, which is never nice to hear, especially as I think the lads are 100% committed to the cause. 

“The fans have become a little bit impatient. 

“But we know they are going to be travelling in their numbers, we know how much they support us and we have to give them something to shout about really and get them fully believing in this team.” 

Colchester United manager John McGreal reacts during the Sky Bet League Two match at Sincil Bank, Li

John McGreal has been named Ipswich Town's 'interim manager'. - Credit: PA

He added: “John took the squad today. He’s an Ipswich lad and is really keen to get some wins. He’s really enthusiastic and he’s told us how he wants us to play. 

“He just wants everyone to be a little bit free. Those were his words. He wants everyone to enjoy it. 

“He’s going to be with the 23s after this experience, so for him I think these next few games are just about giving the fans something to be proud of. 

“He’s an Ipswich lad, he lives local and just wants to get the enthusiasm back in the team.” 

Asked if there was any trepidation about what the future might hold for a squad assembled by Cook, Morsy said: “You just have to focus, clear your head and not try to over-think anything.  

“For the new guy, whoever that is, we just have to give our all. As a professional footballer, all I can do is give my all on a daily basis. Whatever else happens is out of my control. 

“Sometimes in football you can get ahead of yourself and start thinking about the future. In reality, you just have to stay in the present.  

“My message to the lads will be ‘just take it one day at a time’. Prepare today, prepare tomorrow, play the game and then take it from there. 

“No-one knows what’s around the corner in football. None of us know who’s going to be the next manager, their style, what personnel he likes. All that is out of your control.  

“The best thing we can do is just simply focus on our jobs and then the rest takes care of itself.” 

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