Ipswich Town sack manager Paul Cook after dour FA Cup draw

Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook.
Cook took over from Paul Lambert with the express mission of taking Town back to the Championship Credit: PA Images

Ipswich Town have axed manager Paul Cook after just 44 games in charge of the League One Club.

In a statement on the club's website Ipswich Town CEO, Mark Ashton, said: "Firstly, we would like to thank Paul and his team for their efforts in what has been a difficult transition period for everyone.

 "I know how much Paul wanted to succeed at this club. However, following discussions with the board, we have decided a change is needed for our long-term interests.

 "At this moment, there is no one lined up to replace Paul. There will be an extensive search to find the best replacement for the Club.

 "I will communicate more to the media and our supporters on Monday."

Town boss Paul Cook had said his side were "genuinely trying to get better" Credit: PA Images

Cook, 54, was appointed by the Blues back in March replacing Paul Lambert. He had signed a contract which would have kept him at Portman Road until 2023. He had a proven track record, he'd had successful spells at Portsmouth and Wigan.

Cook led Wigan to the League One title in his first season in charge in 2017-18 and they finished 18th in the Championship the following season.

He was said to be the preferred candidate of the new ownership group - Gamechanger 20 who bought out Marcus Evans earlier this year.

Speaking on his appointment Cook had stated his ambition was on promotion:

"We've got to aim for the stars. We have to do that. It's what football's about. When you're a young kid and you follow your team, you want to be in the FA Cup Final. You want to dream. For Ipswich Town Football Club, probably similar to Portsmouth and Sunderland in the division, those supporters genuinely believe they shouldn't be in this division."

Players gave their reaction to the news:

Cook was given financial backing by the new owners and embarked on a major rebuild of his squad.

The club splashed out around £3m on new players arrived during the summer, with a host of old stalwarts heading out of Portman Road.

The season didn't start well - there was no win in the Blues opening six league matches - which included a 5-2 defeat at home to Bolton, but after a shaky start they had climbed away from the foot of the table to be 7 points outside the play-offs.

League One

His tenure came to an end this afternoon after his side were held to a 0-0 draw by League Two strugglers Barrow in the FA Cup second round.

Speaking after the game Cook said his side were:

“genuinely trying to work hard to get better”. The Portman Road crowd voiced their displeasure at both half-time and full-time following the stalemate.

Cook said: “The stadium in the first half wasn’t a very nice environment, with supporters basically wanting to turn, which I get. The first-half performance was very indicative of that.

“As you can see, the pitch is very dry and very bobbly all of a sudden and is not conducive for passing football, certainly passing sideways and backwards where our supporters are quite right to have a go."

Cook becomes the fourth League One boss to be sacked this season. In the last ten days strugglers Fleetwood Town and Doncaster Rovers parted company with Simon Grayson and Richie Wellens respectively.

Charlton Athletic, who were also tipped for a promotion run, said goodbye to Nigel Adkins in October. Former Colchester star Jonnie Jackson is in interim charge at the Valley.