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AFC Bournemouth: Cook remains fully focused amid Premier League interest
STAR defender Steve Cook pledged his “love” for Cherries and vowed to remain focused amid rumoured interest from Premier League clubs.
The talented 22-year-old has seen his stock rise substantially following an impressive start to life as a Championship footballer at Dean Court.
Cook, who established himself under boss Eddie Howe with 33 league appearances during the promotion campaign, has been ever-present in the second tier.
The centre-half saw his efforts rewarded during the summer when he put pen to paper on an improved three-year contract which tied him to the club until 2016.
Cook’s eye-catching form led to Sky Sports suggesting that he could emerge as a transfer target for top-flight trio Norwich, West Brom and Crystal Palace in January.
But the former Brighton man, who joined Cherries in a £170,000 move from the Seagulls, says he is happy at Dean Court.
Asked about being linked with Premier League clubs, Cook told the Daily Echo: “I saw it but I am not worried about that at the moment. I have to keep playing well and my focus is on winning games for Bournemouth.
“It is nice to see because I have been working very hard and I have been through a lot of things.
“I feel like I have had a good start to the season. I have played every game and my target was to play as many games as possible.
“When you have Tommy Elphick, Elliott Ward and Miles Addison in the squad, it was not a foregone conclusion that I was going to play every week.
“That was my main aim and, hopefully, I can keep playing and keep playing well.”
Cook added: “I only signed a new contract in the summer. It is hard to talk about it because, at the moment, it is just hearsay for me.
"I love Bournemouth and I have a good life down here so it would take something special for it to change.”
Cherries boss Howe, speaking last month, said the speculation was a “compliment”.
Cook played through the pain barrier against Brighton and QPR after sustaining ankle and heel damage during the clash with Derby last month.
He is expected to start when Cherries visit Reading on Saturday (3pm) and will see his credentials tested by the likes of Billy Sharp, Adam Le Fondre and Pavel Pogrebnyak.
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