Former Portsmouth boss Paul Cook makes Ipswich 'biggest and best' claim which fans at the Blues, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland Wigan and Bolton would likely dispute

Former Pompey boss Paul Cook believes he’s in charge of the biggest and best club in League One.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 11:55 am
Updated Friday, 24th September 2021, 12:01 pm

And not stopping there, the Ipswich manager also insists he’s got the best squad in the division to boot, too,

Few could argue his last point given the massive outlay on players the Tractor Boys’ new American owners sanctioned during the summer – although their current position of 20th in the table suggests otherwise.

But no doubt fans of the Blues, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland, Bolton and Wigan would dispute his biggest and best claims – clubs who have tasted the riches of the Premier League in recent history.

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In Cook’s defence, he admitted he would be expected to say such a thing given his position as Ipswich manager.

And he’s off the opinion that counterparts such as Danny Cowley, Lee Johnson and Darren Moore – who he goes head-to-head with at Portman Road tomorrow – would all say the same thing about their respective clubs if they were put on the spot.

Speaking to the East Anglian Daily Times, Pompey’s 2016-17 League Two title-winning manager said: ‘I just think we (Ipswich) are the biggest club in the league, we’re the best club in the league and I think we’ve got the best squad.

‘But that would be what I think, wouldn’t it?

Ipswich boss Paul Cook. Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images

‘If I’m sitting in Danny Cowley’s office, Lee Johnson’s office, Darren Moore’s office I’d be saying exactly the same. I’m not trying to open a football debate there.

‘I just have total faith in my own club. I’m saying that out of pure loyalty to my own football club and where I’m at.

‘I just want us to be as successful as we can. I want to see our fans leaving stadiums absolutely delighted like they did Sincil Bank last weekend – that's what football is all about.

‘The welcome myself and the coaching staff have had into the community has been absolutely first class.

‘The positivity towards us all has been absolutely fantastic. It’s something that drives us on. Delivering success for these fans would probably be the highlight of my career.

‘I just keep trying to get the performances correct and make the supporters happy. When the supporters are happy then everyone is happy. That’s what we’re working towards.’

Ipswich are expecting a crowd in excess of 20,000 for tomorrow’s big game against Wednesday, with both clubs desperate to climb the table after less than impressive starts to the 2021-22 campaign.

While Ipswich sit 20th with six points from their opening seven games, the Owls are 13th in the standings with a record of 11 points from seven outings.

Victory for either would go down well with their respective fan bases.

And Cook – who has tasted promotion with both the Blues and Wigan in recent seasons – believes the rewards are massive if the likes of himself, Cowley, Moore, Johnson & Co can deliver the one thing supporters want the most from their sides – promotion back to the Championship.

He added: ‘The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up ahead of tomorrow.

‘I think if we were first and second in the league it would probably be nearer 30,000, wouldn’t it? That’s what both clubs are capable of delivering.

‘To manage these sort of teams – whether it’s me, Danny Cowley, Darren Moore, Lee Johnson – it's a great honour.

‘Because if you can be the one who delivers success to the fans then you’ll be held in such high esteem.

‘These clubs are desperate to go back to where they want to be.’