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AFC Bournemouth star Cook: Clean sheets are a collective effort
DEFENDER Steve Cook revealed his shutout relief and then admitted graft from players in all positions was the only way Cherries would repeat the feat.
The Dean Court side kept a clean sheet for the first time since Boxing Day in trouncing Championship rivals Doncaster 5-0 on Saturday.
It was only the sixth occasion this season that Cherries had kept out their opposition and centre-half Cook felt that closing down in advanced areas was as important as resilience at the back.
He told the Daily Echo: “It has been a long time coming and is something we’ve been working hard towards.
“The game was won when Harry (Arter) scored the third goal, but we had to keep our concentration and maintain our work rate.
“I thought that from the front we defended as a team. Grabbs (Lewis Grabban) up front and Harry Arter and Andy Surman in the middle were absolutely terrific.
“They didn’t have any chances at all and that comes from the front and the way we put them under pressure.
“We didn’t give them chances to put the ball into the box or play long to their target man and that was because of our work rate as a team.”
Victory over Paul Dickov’s troops at Dean Court enabled Cherries to move 12 points clear of the relegation places with 14 games to go.
The result meant that Donny, who pinched the 2012/13 League One title from under the noses of Cherries, remained in 20th and still in serious danger of the drop.
Cook said: “I think Saturday was our most important win of the season. It was vital that we won and, hopefully, we can keep beating the sides around us.
“I think we showed the difference between us and (Doncaster) and how much we’ve improved from last year.
“Hopefully, we can take the result and push on. We haven’t scored that many goals for a very long time and that’s very pleasing.”
Not involved in the 3-0 Boxing Day win against Yeovil, Cook has played 90 minutes in five of Cherries’ six clean sheets this season.
Prior to the Doncaster clash, the 22-year-old had last featured in a shutout on September 17 in the 1-0 home victory over Barnsley.
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