Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook believes it will take his new-look team another three games to truly get up to speed following something of a slow start to the season.
Following wholesale summer changes, the Blues have failed to register a league victory this season and currently sit 21st in the table.
The League One side have overhauled their squad this summer, signing 19 players after a club takeover in April, but the much-fancied Tractor Boys have just two points from four league games.
Ipswich have been in rebuild mode this summer, demolishing the majority of their first-team squad and bringing in a host of fresh faces.
The likes of Conor Chaplin, George Edmundson, Sam Morsy, Rakeem Harper, Cameron Burgess, Joe Piggott and Bersant Celina have all arrived at Portman Road as they look to gain promotion after two seasons in the third tier.
“The club needed to be freshened up and it certainly has been,” Joe Fairs from Blue Monday Podcast tells FansBet.
“It’s been an amazing window really looking at some of the players we’ve signed.
“There’s been a lot of players who have had real Championship interest, players you’d expect to go higher. The squad we’ve put together, as a League One squad is probably one of the best there’s ever been at this level.
“Whether that translates to success on the pitch, of course, as Ipswich fans we hope it does, but there are no guarantees.
“A lot of credit must go to Mark Ashton, the CEO, and Paul Cook to get all these deals done as some of them must have been incredibly tough deals to do when you look at the quality of the player.
“An overhaul was needed, maybe it didn’t need to go as far as it did, but you can understand why the new management team wanted to bring in all their own players.”
But there’s no dressing it up, despite the money spent over the summer, it’s been a poor start to the season for Ipswich.
A 2-2 home draw with AFC Wimbledon was the most recent disappointment for Paul Cook’s side, especially seeing as they were 2-0 up after 54 minutes.
A stoppage-time equaliser to salvage a home draw against Morecambe, a club playing in the third-tier for the first time ever, a Carabao Cup exit to League Two Newport County and a 2-1 defeat at Burton Albion, a team who finished 16th last season, was far from the ideal start.
✍️ 19 arrivals…
👏 …10 from a higher division
🚪 18 departures
💬 “The squad that we’ve put together is probably one of the best that’s ever been at this level.”@joefairs from @BlueMondayITFC says it's been an 'amazing' window for #ITFC 🚜#ByFansForFans 🤝 pic.twitter.com/PnZ267zOtq
— FansBet (@FansBet) September 4, 2021
That was followed by a 2-1 loss at Cheltenham – another of the newly-promoted outfits – before two consecutive home draws with MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon, meaning pressure is slowly mounting on a manager with plenty of talent at his disposal.
“Paul Cook has been massively backed and the start of the season won’t have helped him,” says Joe.
“Some fans look at last year when he came in with the club in sixth or seventh place and wasn’t able to fire us into the play-offs and hold that as a black mark against him.
“With the start we’ve made to the season, this isn’t going to be able to continue for much longer.
“The patience that the club will ask for, I don’t think the fans or the owners above them will give that if we have another month as bad as August.
“There’s a big squad here of good players and if we don’t win then everything’s going to become a problem off the pitch.
“There have already been boos after some of the home games that ended in draws.
“He knows he’s under pressure but I’ve got every faith that he’s the man to turn it around but ultimately we need to win.
“Promotion is a necessity for Ipswich Town and is every season when a club of our size is in League One.
“With 20,000 fans coming in every game and the size of the budgets we’ve had, we can’t hang around in League One for too long. Every year you’re in this league it makes it harder and harder.
“Unless there are major mitigating circumstances then Paul Cook will not be in charge at Ipswich if we are still in League One.
“Ideally we need to finish in the top two but the slow start hasn’t helped. You look at the likes of Sunderland who have started well and we’ve got a nine-point gap to them already.
“We need to find some form and start winning some games. If we’re not there or thereabouts then something has gone badly wrong.”
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