'Trust him, he's done it before'... Former Town star Marcus Stewart on Paul Cook

Bristol Rovers coach Marcus Stewart

Marcus Stewart, says Paul Cook knows what it takes to get promotion

Former Ipswich Town striker Marcus Stewart has said Town fans need to trust manager Paul Cook, as the Blues boss looks to fire the Portman Road club back into the Championship.

In his short spell at Portman Road, Stewart became a huge Blues favourite, scoring vital goals as Town, firstly made it into the Premiership in 2000, and then finished fifth a year later.

(L-R) Ipswich Town goalscorers Richard Naylor, Tony Mowbray, Martijn Reuser and Marcus Stewart with

(L-R) Ipswich Town goalscorers Richard Naylor, Tony Mowbray, Martijn Reuser and Marcus Stewart with the winner's trophy, after they defeated Barnsley 4-2 in the play-off final - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Speaking of Town's hopes as they head for another year in League One, Stewart says it will again be tough - but they have the manager who can help them escape.

"Paul Cook has a history of getting teams out of that league, your Wigans, Portsmouths, teams that have been in the Premier League previously, as Ipswich have of course," Stewart said.

"So, time will tell. But it's still going to be a tough year for him and the club. I still don't think you can expect things to happen overnight.

"Much depends on what players Paul brings in. But he knows the league. Whether its a young player, or one who has played 500 games, trust him, because he's done it before.

"He deserves a chance. It's not going to be a walkover in that league next season, but Paul will know that."

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Stewart has taken a year out of the game after playing more than 650 League matches, and coaching at the likes of Exeter, Bristol Rovers and Walsall.

He has been doing a bit of media work, and he says all the changes at Town right now wouldn't have worried him if he was still there - apart from one!

Town manager Paul Cook shouting instructions from the touchline.

Paul Cook is looking to completely rebuild the Ipswich Town squad this summer. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c

"I'd be more worried if I was a player about the managerial change, to be honest, because that ultimately is what's going to affect you, if anything.

"Changes at a club are not on your mind, unless your contract is up and even then it's up to the manager to say if he wants to keep a player or not.

"A change of manager always put me on the back foot."

But back to League One next season and Stewart, who moved to Sunderland after leaving Town, says he can't call it.

Bristol City manager Lee Johnson during the Sky Bet Championship match at Pride Park, Derby.

Former Bristol City manager Lee Johnson says Mark Ashton was a 'fantastic CEO' to work for. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

"I bet a lot of teams in that league, the likes of Ipswich and Portsmouth to name a couple would have liked Sunderland to have gone up this year," he said.

"Because they are going to be a force again next year. Lee Johnson has done a great job with them, almost got them up automatically, so that league is going to be a tough league.

"And Sheffield Wednesday are down there now - another huge club. Some massive clubs in League One next season. I can't call it."