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'Workmanlike' Ipswich Town record much needed narrow victory over Bristol Rovers

Paul Cook oversaw his second win in charge this afternoon as Ipswich Town kept their League One play-off hopes alive.

It was far from a classic at Portman Road, but ultimately the three points is all that mattered and the Tractor Boys wrapped them up thanks to a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Bristol Rovers.

All three goals came in the opening 18 minutes of the contest, as hosting Town broke the deadlock with just 37 seconds on the clock via Luke Leahy's own goal. Alan Judge doubled the advantage in the 11th minute, but Rovers' Luke McCormick ensured it would be a nervy afternoon for those of an Ipswich persuasion when he halved the deficit following an Andre Dozzell mistake.

The Ipswich players celebrate one of their two goals against Bristol Rovers. Picture: Barry Goodwin (45783448)
The Ipswich players celebrate one of their two goals against Bristol Rovers. Picture: Barry Goodwin (45783448)

Nevertheless, Cook's men held out for the victory to move themselves up to ninth, two points outside of the top six with nine fixtures remaining.

"(The performance was) very workmanlike, very honest ," Cook, who by bringing in Kayden Jackson and Luke Woolfenden, made two changes to his starting line-up this afternoon, told BBC Radio Suffolk.

"We showed good character today and sometimes when you've been on the road and lost a couple of games, which we have, people ask really tough questions of the players.

"When you're at a big club like we are, people can continually talk about it. Our lads have had to carry that a little bit and sometimes it's probably been too heavy for some, but today and in the run-in, it's just about trying to win games.

"If we can keep nicking results, working hard and get a bit of the rub of the green, you never know where it might takes us."

Meanwhile, prior to kick off Cook met with some members of Blue Action.

The independent supporters group draped a banner outside of Portman Road ahead of this afternoon's game, which called for owner Marcus Evans to either reform or sell the club.

Cook engaged the group for a number of minutes, after which Blue Action – who let off flares at the club's training ground in protest towards the end of Paul Lambert's tenure – released a statement in which they voiced their displeasure at the way the club is currently being run.

Cook was asked about the meeting after his side's win today, and he replied: "I get fans' frustration. I'm a real football fan and I understand everyone's frustration, but we've got to come together as a football club now. If we're going to be successful, we need each other. We don't need splits in the camp."

Ipswich will now go in search of back-to-back victories on Monday at bottom-of-the-table Rochdale (3pm).

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