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Cherries: Togetherness key for Cook
STEVE Cook believes togetherness, concentration and work-rate have helped Cherries establish a mean defensive reputation.
Centre-half Cook has been a key component of the Cherries backline which has registered four successive league clean sheets.
Cherries have achieved the feat for the first time in a single season since 2002-03 when current assistant boss Jason Tindall, goalkeeping coach Neil Moss and club stalwart Stephen Purches all featured.
Another impressive shut-out against Brentford at Griffin Park on New Year’s Day saw Eddie Howe’s defence continue its fine form.
Cherries have not conceded a goal in open play in 468 minutes of football. The Dorset outfit let in a penalty at Scunthorpe but have otherwise not conceded since Mark Beck’s 72nd-minute strike for Carlisle in the FA Cup on December 1.
Former Brighton man Cook, 21, highlighted the vital factors which have contributed to Cherries’ improving statistics.
He told the Daily Echo: “We have had a settled back five and everyone has showed concentration and work-rate.
“Tommy (Elphick) leads very well from the back. He is a very good captain, stepping in for Miles (Addison), and that is what you have got to have in a squad like ours.”
Cherries, who visit Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup third round tomorrow (3pm), have gone 16 matches unbeaten since Howe succeeded Paul Groves.
Cook added: “We perform as a team and that is crucial.
“We have got a young side and we are all still learning, so it is all about togetherness and we just need to kick on.”