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Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook expects tomorrow's opponents Sunderland to rediscover winning form soon

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Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook does not buy into the notion that it is a good time for his team to be travelling to Sunderland.

The Tractor Boys head to the Stadium of Light tomorrow to take on a Black Cats team that have won none of their last six games in all competitions.

That form has seen Lee Johnson's men – after a bright start to the season – drop out of the League One play-off places to seventh with a four-point gap to Ipswich in ninth.

Paul Cook is expecting a tough afternoon on Wearside. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Paul Cook is expecting a tough afternoon on Wearside. Picture: Barry Goodwin

However, Cook believes that it is only a matter of time before the Wearsiders turn things around.

"You've only got to look at the players that Sunderland will put on the pitch tomorrow," said Cook.

"Every game is no different for Ipswich, it's a cup final for the other teams – same for Sunderland.

"Sunderland have had a frightfully good start, they've had a tiny little blip at the minute, and those blips will go away quickly when you've a quality manager in Lee and you've got quality players on the pitch. Them problems will self fix.

"Tomorrow we approach a very difficult game, again with great optimism. We're going up there, as our supporters know, there is no parking buses. We're going to take the game to Sunderland and let's see what it brings."

Cook also believes that his Ipswich team are members of the strongest batch of League One clubs that he can remember.

"Last time luckily I was promoted with Wigan, but Wigan and Blackburn were the two strongest clubs by far. There was no real other competition in the league," he added.

"I can't remember the points tally, I think we probably got to 99 if I'm not mistaken and Blackburn were 97. I think Shrewsbury probably pushed on 85 and then there was probably a gap of 15-20 points.

"This year you don't see any team running away with the league – you just don't. But that's only as we sit today, there is so much football to be played. There are so many big clubs and a window coming up in January where like good clubs always do, they are always looking to make themselves better and stronger.

"We just want to look after our own business. At our club I think we have a class about us that's good. I think that was seen in a really good light against Oxford last week, when it was a fantastic game in my opinion played in front of a really good crowd."

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