League One news: Ex-Portsmouth boss Paul Cook's clear message for underperforming Ipswich players | Doncaster step up manager search | Charlton ace considers quitting

Pompey’s lack of options up front has been the focus of attention heading into tonight’s game at Crewe.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 11:56 am
Ipswich boss Paul Cook. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

But they’re not the only club in the division with plenty to think about at the moment.

Indeed, there’s plenty of news and gossip emerging from elsewhere in the third tier, which we’ve rounded up for you here.

Cook’s simple message to underperforming Ipswich players

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Ipswich boss Paul Cook couldn’t have spelt it out any easier for his players as they continue to, in his opinion, underwhelm.

Since he was named as manager at Portman Road, the Tractor Boys have won just two of his nine games in charge.

They remain in the play-off hunt – three points behind sixth-place Lincoln and four behind Pompey.

But Cook clearly expects more from his inherited troops. Otherwise, he’ll be looking elsewhere in the summer to find the solution.

Marcus Maddison Picture: Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

He told the East Anglian Daily Times: ‘I want to be very careful what I say about the players.

‘People want managers to come out and be brash and say things that they want to hear.

‘For me, the performances that I watch are way off the performances that I like as a manager. But I don’t want to debate with you too much about good, bad and sidewards.

‘We are, in my opinion, a team that has got a lot of work to do, shall we say.

‘We’re going to Wimbledon (tonight) in the hope that we can keep our season going and that we can give our supporters the belief that we can do it.

‘The team reflects the manager and at the minute our team doesn’t reflect me and it doesn’t reflect our football club. Going forward that will change.’

He continued: ‘I don’t think they (the players) feel the pressure guys, I’ve got to tell you.

‘I think we are what it says on the tin. We are very organised, very honest, we’re committed, but we lack quality going forwards and we’re desperate for lads to step up to the plate.

‘Being out of contract will affect some of them and rightly so.

‘New owners coming in will be exciting times in terms of investment into the team and players coming in.

‘What I crave more is some of our players that are here now to step up to the plate and do more than they have been doing.

‘Because if you want to be here we need to see more.’

Rovers begin search for Moore replacement

Doncaster Rovers hope to confirm their new manager within days of the season finishing.

That’s after the post, left vacant by Darren Moore at the start of March, has been advertised – with a deadline for applications set at 5pm on Monday, April 19.

It’s expected the successful applicant will be confirmed shortly after the final match of the campaign.

Caretaker manager Andy Butler - who was handed the role until the end of the season - was informed on Monday that the position would be advertised.

He was also told that an application from him would be welcomed.

Prior to Moore’s departure, Donny sat sixth in the table.

Since then, though, they’ve taken just eight points from a possible 30 – including three against Pompey – and sit 11th, six points adrift of the play-off places.

Dundee United boss Micky Mellon has been linked with the job.

Talented Charlton forward to consider quitting football

Charlton winger Marcus Maddison is considering walking away from the game after his loan spell at Bolton was cut short.

The 27-year-old joined the League Two outfit on loan on transfer deadline day in January, making 10 appearances as the Trotters sit third in the table.

But the former Peterborough ace has parted company with Ian Evatt’s side – by mutual consent – amid concerns for his welfare.

It’s been reported that the gifted playmaker, who was substituted at half-time in Saturday’s 2-1 win against Harrogate, has found living in the club’s on-site hotel, and away from his young family, difficult.

Just after it was announced the winger would be returning to Charlton, he posted a message on Instagram Monday saying ‘the football industry has eventually broke me’.

‘I've tried to fit in and be happy but if I can't be happy in a winning team fighting for promotion, it's clearly something deeper,’ he added.

‘I'm returning home to think do I want to play football anymore as it just doesn't bring me any joy at all.’

Evatt told The Bolton News: ‘Myself, Marcus and his agent had a really long talk on Sunday about everything.

‘I also had another chat with the PFA to make sure we could get Marcus the best help and support.

‘Football takes a back seat in all this. People need to respect his privacy and wish him well, so hopefully he can get himself back in the right place.’