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Cherries' Cook: We thrive on the mind games
DEFENSIVE star Steve Cook insists Cherries have the strength to avoid being distracted by any mind games over the club’s apparent spending power.
Cook’s comments came as Brentford boss Uwe Rosler, speaking before and after yesterday’s 0-0 draw at Griffin Park, became the latest rival manager to draw attention to Cherries’ budget.
Having described the Dorset outfit as having the “best resources in the league”, Rosler then said his Bees squad was just as good as Cherries’ despite claiming there was a “massive difference” in finances.
Centre-half Cook, who was again excellent as Cherries registered a fourth consecutive League One clean sheet, says there is no chance of Eddie Howe’s team taking their eyes off the ball.
And the 21-year-old also hinted they were using rivals’ comments as added motivation.
Cook told the Daily Echo: “It doesn’t bother us. What happens off the pitch is not really down to us, we have got to do the business on the pitch.
“Clubs and teams that say that just try to take our mind off the game but we are a strong side.
“We thrive off it. We see what the managers say in the papers, the gaffer shows us, and that just encourages us more. We want to show the league that we deserve to be up there.”
Cherries’ rivals have often referred to their financial muscle since the arrival of Russian businessman Maxim Demin as the Dorset club’s co-owner.
Speaking in his post-match press conference at Griffin Park, Rosler said: “I told my players that, on much less budget, our squad is as good as their squad. I think that is a compliment to all of my players.
“It is a massive difference and we are as good as them.”
Cherries made it 16 matches without defeat since Howe’s appointment by drawing at Brentford, with Wes Fogden, Harry Arter, Josh McQuoid and Matt Tubbs among the players to come close to netting second-half winners.
Cook added: “Teams are going to look at it and think we are doing well. But we are not worried about what other people think.
“We were playing catch-up but it is not a problem. We have got ourselves back in the mix and our season starts now.”
Cherries, who remained four points behind fourth-placed Brentford, slipped out of the play-off zone on goal difference following victories for rivals Swindon Town and MK Dons.