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AFC Bournemouth: Cook happy with comparisons to distinguished defenders
STEVE Cook admitted he was flattered by comparisons with Cherries’ heroes of yesteryear and then set his sights on joining them in the defensive hall of fame.
Cherries supporters this week mentioned Cook in an online debate which sparked discussion about the top modern-day centre-halves to have played for the club.
At the age of 22, Cook was noted for his potential to join the likes of Ian Cox, John Williams, Shaun Teale and Eddie Howe among the Dean Court favourites.
Cook, who made 33 League One appearances during Cherries’ promotion last term, has underlined his quality with some impressive displays so far this season.
And despite enduring a baptism of fire in the 6-1 loss at Watford, Cook caught the eye when helping to nullify Grant Holt in the 1-0 win over Wigan last time out.
Asked if it had been flattering to read the recent praise from the Dean Court faithful, Cook replied: “It is at 22 years old. I have only been here a few seasons.
“I want to make sure I am in the team every week first and then, hopefully, the performances will come and who knows. I can see my future here.
“I saw a Tweet (about the fans’ praise) the other day and it brought a smile to my face. That is what it is all about as a footballer. You want to do well for the fans, the team and get the results and, hopefully, I can play at the highest level with Bournemouth.
“I love the club, the fans have been great with me and, hopefully, I can repay the favour and put in some good performances on the pitch.”
Cook has established himself as a key man and has featured in every minute of every game this term after boss Howe handed him a new three-year deal in June.
Howe, one of the most popular and talented defenders to represent Cherries in recent years, believes Cook is the complete modern-day centre-half.
Speaking ahead of today’s clash at Huddersfield (3pm), Howe told the Daily Echo: “Cooky has got everything that a modern centre-half needs.
“When I first saw him play when I first took over at the club for the second time, I was pleasantly surprised by Cooky.
“Physically, he is not the most dominating presence but he competes in the air, he is mobile and the thing that impresses me most about him is that he does sense danger as a defender, but he is also very composed on the ball.
“I think he is getting better and better. If he can keep improving and learning, and continue to take his game as seriously as he needs to, he could go as far as he wants.”
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