Ipswich sacked manager Paul Cook in the wake of their goalless draw at home to Sky Bet League Two Barrow in the FA Cup.
Town were expected to be challenging for automatic promotion after a number of high-profile summer signings, but Cook – who was appointed in March – leaves with Ipswich 11th in League One, seven points off the play-off places.
The Portman Road crowd voiced their displeasure at both half-time and full-time following the stalemate with the Bluebirds, and it was later announced that Cook had been “relieved of his duties”.
Ipswich chief executive Mark Ashton said in a statement: “Firstly, we would like to thank Paul and his team for their efforts in what has been a difficult transition period for everyone.
“I know how much Paul wanted to succeed at this club. However, following discussions with the board, we have decided a change is needed for our long-term interests.
“At this moment, there is no one lined up to replace Paul. There will be an extensive search to find the best replacement for the club.
“I will communicate more to the media and our supporters on Monday.”
Following the 0-0 draw, Cook had said: “The stadium in the first half wasn’t a very nice environment, with supporters basically wanting to turn, which I get. The first-half performance was very indicative of that.
“As you can see, the pitch is very dry and very bobbly all of a sudden and is not conducive for passing football, certainly passing sideways and backwards where our supporters are quite right to have a go.
“We showed no intensity, we showed no energy. I felt second half we showed a lot more honesty and probably lacked a bit of quality.
“As you can see, we’re in a little period of time now where it’s tough, and for our players we must show our character. For me as a manager, I’ve been in these situations. At all the clubs I’ve been at, Chesterfield, Portsmouth, Wigan, I’ve felt pain.
“I feel a little bit of pain now because the brutal truth is we’re probably not as good as we might want to hope and think we are.
“The reality is we are a team that is genuinely trying to work hard to get better. We have deficiencies, they’re there for all to see.
“Our supporters second half were like the team. We all played well.
“First half we all didn’t play well. Our supporters need our help, it’s not just about the supporters turning up and getting behind the team, it’s about the team lifting our supporters and that’s something we need to do better.”
Barrow manager Mark Cooper was delighted with his side’s first-half display.
“First half we played really well. We played without a striker today to try and have more of the ball and I think in the first half it worked really well and we had some good opportunities,” he said.
“Obviously the crowd turned. At half-time I spoke about having to start properly and start well to make sure the crowd really turn. But we didn’t, we started really sloppy, poor communication at the back and we gave the crowd and the Ipswich team the impetus and the confidence to start to play.
“From there, we got into a defensive mindset and we stopped passing the ball and we had to defend, which we did manage to.
“We know Ipswich have got some really good players and you know they can produce moments of quality at any given time. You have to defend well but first half we were delighted with the performance for the way we’ve been results-wise.
“I thought we were the dominant team but second half we had to hang on.”
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