Paul Cook's automatic promotion vow as Ipswich Town close in on Portsmouth

Paul Cook believes Ipswich can gain automatic promotion - this season.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 3:57 pm

The former Blues boss has set the goal of going up from League One this term, after being named the new man in charge at Portman Road.

Cook was named as Paul Lambert’s successor on Monday and watched his new side pick up a win at Accrington the following night.

That now leaves Ipswich two points behind Pompey with a game in hand, and nine points off the top two.

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According to owner, Marcus Evans, the Scouser has made it clear he believes that gap is bridgeable with a third of the season remaining.

He told ‘When it became apparent that I needed to look for someone new to lead our challenge for promotion over the rest of the season, Paul was always at the forefront of my mind.

‘I have had to move quickly since the weekend but Paul has already met the squad and staff and has impressed a lot of people with what he has said and his clear desire and determination to take this Club back to the Championship.

Former Pompey boss Paul Cook is the new manager of Ipswich Twon. Picture: Harry Trump/Getty Images

‘I firmly believe that Paul has all the credentials to take Ipswich Town forward and he will receive all the support I can give him to help him achieve that.

‘As Paul has said, promotion to the Championship is the goal for us this season and I know he believes with the squad we have, a top two position is within reach.’

Ipswich have been heavily linked with an imminent takeover after Cook’s arrival, but that talk was played down by Evans.

There’s been intense speculation the Blues’ League One rivals were on the brink of being bought by an American consortium.

But Evans has dismissed talk Los Angeles-based businessman Brett Johnson is closing in on buying the Tractor Boys for £17.5m.

The man who’s owned Ipswich since 2007 confirmed there has been interest shown in buying Ipswich, but not from the reported group.

He added: ‘I’m sure you are aware of the media stories that have been swirling around over the last week or two suggesting that I am about to sell the club.

‘Let me put on record that in my 13 years plus as owner of Ipswich Town, I have never looked to sell the club. That is still the case.

‘In that time I have received approaches to see if I would sell - some credible - some not so. I received another new enquiry only two weeks ago (not the one reported in the media)

and in each case, I have looked first and foremost at whether that investment would be in the long-term best interests of the club.

‘I am not going to deny there has always been interest in Ipswich Town, ours is a great club with great history and a potentially great future, but please don’t take everything you

read in the media as ‘the state of play’.

‘I have had detailed offers for the Club past and present but there has been nothing brand new in the last 12 months.’

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