Manager Paul Cook summed up the state of play with supporters when he said, ” While we’ve got to finish the season well, we wanna win football games, I think looking to the future our fans can be happily unhappy?!” Suddenly, it dawned on Cook that he had hit on a new catchphrase and revisited it. “Happily unhappy – if that makes sense? Happily unhappy. I like that yeah.”
I think the point that Cook was trying to make was that although our season has gone belly up again, our finances – thanks to the backing of our new owners have given everyone a reason for hope. Our debt has been cleared, and we can start the new season with a clean bill of health and some money to spend. It’s a very long time since we could say that!
I love the way Paul Cook communicates. It is a far cry from many of our previous manager’s nondescript behaviour, and his passion for the sport is transparent throughout. He understands the fans reaction. He totally gets why we are all so disappointed but firmly believes that step by step, we will see discernible improvement – but it won’t come overnight.
He went on to say that the happiness theme is at the very top of his agenda. “I take great pride in trying to make people happy. At the minute we’re making people miserable, including myself. At the minute, at our football club – including Ipswich Town fans, they don’t trust me. They’ve seen me speak a lot, but they haven’t seen me win a lot. It’s a knock-on effect. Our players don’t trust me. I haven’t given them new contracts. I haven’t looked after anyone in the dressing room. Why would they trust Paul Cook? I look at our results, and I don’t particularly trust them. That’s where we’ve all got to be a little bit clever, cute and respectful of each other. Over a period of time, this club will be successful. Without a shadow of a doubt.”
Tomorrow Ipswich are back at Portman Road when AFC Wimbledon come on a visit. It is only two weeks ago that we succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at their place. I guess the first question is, can we score a goal? It has almost six matches (or 529 minutes) since a now-departed Alan Judge put us in front against Bristol Rovers. It was our last victory, way back on the 2nd of April.
Would a win at home tomorrow be asking too much? On current form, the answer would surely be yes. Then again, with little to gain and nothing to lose, the player’s might just surprise us!