Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook felt Blues 'fully deserved something' as hosts Sunderland end winless run with 2-0 victory
It was a case of reflecting on what could and perhaps should have been once again for Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook as his side were left frustrated by a 2-0 defeat at Sky Bet League One promotion rivals Sunderland.
Last weekend had seen Cook having to stomach settling for just a point when dominant in the second half in a goalless home draw with high-flying Oxford United.
But despite former player Alex Mathie saying they outplayed their hosts on Wearside for long spells in his summarising on BBC Radio Suffolk this afternoon, the Blues make the long trip back on the back of a defeat.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 85th minute with Luke O'Nien headed home a corner that goalkeeper Christian Walton had got in a muddle with in what was Black Cats' first shot on target.
Salt was then rubbed into the Suffolk side's wounds with a highly controversial stoppage time penalty was awarded to Newmarket-raised Lee Johnson's side after Toto Nsiala was adjudged to have handled a shot.
Substitute Aiden McGeady dispatched it to put the result beyond doubt, ending a six-game winless run, including three defeats on the bounce going into the game.
Asked if it was a result which was harsh on his side by Brenner Woolley in his post-match interview for BBC Radio Suffolk, Cook said: "Yes, we played well. We played very well. We controlled the game for long spells.
"I didn't feel we were in any trouble in the game and we come in on the end of a 2-0 and I have to say well done to Sunderland. Football is about results and Sunderland have got the result so we respect them."
Although he clearly did not agree with the penalty decision he said he would not be discussing it.
Put to him that it was just the final ball which seemed to let them down, he replied: "It wasn't in the first half was it? Especially when we had big moments in the second half.
"I felt the game petered out, if I am being truthful Sunderland sat very, very deep. They were happy to let us have the ball in areas (and) we didn't really look like opening them up.
"We stopped them getting wide and getting good crosses in and obviously we ended up on a 2-0 where obviously the goal is the goal but the penalty decision, you couldn't make it up, could you?
"We are disappointed with the result we really, really are because we fully deserved something out of the game, but that is football, isn't it?"
Quizzed on whether he had had a chance to chat with the match officials about the penalty, he replied: "No, there is no point.
"There is an incident in the first half where one of our players is punched twice clear as anything and them they do not see it – there is four of them there and he manages to give a penalty that everyone in the stadium is shocked at but it is what it is. The referees do their best there is no criticism towards the referee, I just felt those moments that come round he could have done better but there you go."
He went on to add: "We have got a good travelling support and we wanted to get a good positive result for our supporters and our club that would see us get in a better position and we have played quite well today and unfortunately sometimes you do not get what we deserve. I have been around football long enough to know if you keep playing like that you won't have a problem, that is for sure."
Cook confirmed that West Burns had suffered a slight hamstring issue in Tuesday's FA Cup tie at Oldham Athletic but was not prepared to be drawn into praising his replacement, Sone Aluko with the result in mind.
"You can go through the team and unfortunately for us by the time you break it down we lost the game 2-0, so I cannot be saying well done and patting people on the back.
"Could we have done more to win the game? I do not feel we could.
"Were we comfortable within the game? Yes, I thought we were and unfortunately we have lost and that is football.
"I have been around long enough to know you have to take your medicine. We say well done to Sunderland.
"It is a long, long season and we have got to come back stronger."
The Blues do not have to wait long for a chance to bounce back, but they are set to face a tough task in doing so. Rotherham United will visit Portman Road on Tuesday (7.45pm) off the back of a 3-1 win against travelling Cambridge United today that moved them up into second place in the table.