League One round-up: Former Portsmouth boss' makes frank admission after Ipswich lose against Bolton as Sheffield Wednesday manager concedes his team weren't at it at Plymouth

Paul Cook confessed watching his Ipswich side lose 5-2 at home to Bolton was one of the toughest days he’s had as a manager.

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 11:30 am

The former Pompey manager is still without a league win this season, despite a summer of huge recruitment at Portman Road.

Saturday saw the Tractor Boys field for the first time three of their latest new recruits, including goalkeeper Christian Walton.

But their massive outlay on new players isn’t translating into results on the pitch at the moment, with Bolton’s 5-2 win in Suffolk a third defeat in six games for Ipswich.

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It leaves them 22nd in the table and Cook admitting that his side are ‘a million miles from where they need to be’.

Speaking after the game, he said: ‘It’s probably one of the toughest days I’ve had in management. It was a really difficult day.

‘To watch your team, again, take the lead, start brightly, look good, get the crowd on our side, even equalise, then all of a sudden we just give goals away. That’s something we have to eradicate.

‘There’ll be no criticisms towards the players from me. None. I put the team on the pitch.

Paul Cook's Ipswich lost 5-2 at home to Bolton on Saturday Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

‘This is a very proud club and that was a not very proud performance.

‘We can hide behind three lads making their debuts, or whatever, but there are two ways you play football... One, with the ball, and one without.

‘We are quite okay with the ball, we still score goals and we’ve missed a couple of chances.

‘But without the ball we are a million miles away from where we need to be as a team.

‘That’s something we have to eradicate and eradicate quickly.’

When asked what he can do to eradicate the problems, he answered: ‘By not talking to you much.

‘By not trying to talk nonsense to our supporters who watched the same game as me.

‘By a desire and willingness to work.

‘By having a hunger and an aggression in our play – something that we sadly lack at the minute. It’s something that we must find.’

Another League One boss facing up to the difficulties hat the division will pose this season is Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore.

He witnessed his side lose 3-0 at Plymouth to record their second-successive defeat in the third tier, leaving one of the division’s pre-season favourites sitting 12th in the table.

Moore told Yorkshire Live: ‘I didn't feel we were quite at it. There were spells in the game where we were good but not quite good enough.

‘Credit to Plymouth. They set their stall out today and set about us and didn't allow us to get into the game.

‘We conceded three goals more from concentration from our point of view and that has been uncharacteristic of us.

‘’We came into the game with a bit of momentum but this league can be really harsh if you are not right at the top of your game.

‘We weren't right at the top of our game.’

The mood is a lot different in the Sunderland camp, with Lee Johnson’s side top of the table following their 2-1 win against Accrington.

It means the Black Cats have won five of their six League One games so far this season – but the Stadium of Light boss believes there’s still room for improvement.

He said: ‘I thought it was a difficult game. I knew it would be a difficult game, I went to see them last week and Accrington are a big, strong, aggressive, side.

‘We gave away too many set-plays in the first half, and that's what they want - that's what they play for.

‘But I also felt we were very slick once we broke their press.

‘The frustration was that we didn't score more goals, however we are still a team that is growing and in a learning phase.’

Other results: Burton Albion 1-1Gillingham, Cambridge United 1-5 Lincoln City, Charlton Athletic 1-2 Cheltenham Town, Morecambe 3-4 AFC Wimbledon, Oxford United 0-0 Wycombe Wanderers, Rotherham United 2-4 Fleetwood Town, Shrewsbury Town 1-1 Crewe Alexandra, Wigan Athletic 2-1 Doncaster Rovers