League One round-up: Paul Cook's selection headache admission as Portsmouth winger Michael Jacobs closes in on Portman Road move

Paul Cook admitted he doesn’t know what his best Ipswich team is yet as the big-spending Tractor Boys required a stoppage-time Macauley Bonne goal to rescue a point against Morecambe.

Sunday, 8th August 2021, 12:30 pm

The Portman Road boss included eight debutants in his starting XI for the visit of the newly-promoted Shrimps.

But it needed a late goal from substitute Bonne – who is one of 12 new arrivals to date this summer – to spare their blushes on day one of the season as the home side were held to a 2-2 draw.

Cook’s job in working out his favoured side will not have been made simpler by his latest moves into the transfer market, with Louie Barry and Sone Aluko both arriving in the build-up to Saturday’s game.

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Meanwhile, he’ll have further options available to him after Danny Cowley confirmed at he had accepted a bid for well-known Ipswich target Michael Jacobs.

That deal is expected to be completed soon.

But in the meantime, Cook has asked for patience as he bids to get his new-look team to gel together.

He told the East Anglian Daily Times: ‘We don't know our best team yet. We're new. We're brand new.

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

‘We've got players arriving at the training ground for the first time yesterday (Friday). We've got medicals going on. We've got new cars in the car park. We're new!

‘We've got to be given that time to grow. We'll keep working hard.

‘We're going to build the team every week and give them more confidence to believe in themselves and play.

‘They'll feed off the energy of the Portman Road crowd. If we stay together we'll have a good season.

‘It's a massive club and a massive honour to represent it.

‘It doesn't come overnight, no matter what football fans think.

‘We know there's a lot of hard work to do. We're not stupid people. We know we're a big scalp in this league. We just want to work hard and do our best to make our supporters proud.’

Cook’s former assistant at both Wigan and Pompey, Leam Richardson, believes he too will need time to get his new-look side ticking as they lost 2-1 at Sunderland.

He also named eight debutants in his starting line-up, including Jack Whatmough and Tom Naylor, but was disappointed with the awarding of a first-half penalty which allowed Aiden McGeady to cancel out Gwion Edwards’ opener, before Ross Stewart scored a second-half winner.

Richardson said: ‘Obviously, with the great atmosphere and with it being the first game of the season, we’re very mindful that we had eight debutants and I think it showed in parts.

‘It was disappointing to concede straight away after we went in front. I’ve been told that it wasn’t a penalty, and I felt that that half-turned the game.

‘It gave them an opportunity to get up and running with the fans behind them, but I felt that we finished the game quite strongly.

‘I felt we possibly got engulfed in that a little bit in parts, but with a brand-new team that we’ve put together in a couple of weeks, we’ll see improvements as we go.’

Commenting on his side’s win, Sunderland boss Lee Johnson said: ‘There was some wonderful football at times, the way we broke the lines and switched the play was really, really, good, but I think Wigan are a good side so I have to give my players a lot of credit .’

Other results: Bolton Wanderers 3-3 MK Dons, Cambridge United 1-1 Oxford United, Charlton Athletic 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday, Crewe 1-1 Cheltenham, Doncaster Rovers 1-2 AFC Wimbledon, Gillingham 1-1 Lincoln City, Rotherham United 2-0 Plymouth Argyle, Shrewsbury Town 0-1 Burton Albion, Wycombe 2-1 Accrington Stanley