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AFC Bournemouth's Cook: It could have been us battling for survival
STEVE Cook admitted Eddie Howe’s men had once pondered the prospect of the boot being on the other foot when they went to Millwall on the final day of the season.
Cook revealed some of the players had spoken earlier this season about the possibility of Cherries’ Championship status depending on the outcome of their visit to the Den.
However, the defender said the discussion had centred on whether Cherries may require a positive result to avoid an immediate return to League One – rather than to reach the play-offs.
Cook has starred during Cherries’ memorable first campaign in the second flight since 1990 with the club guaranteed to finish in the top 11, while Millwall could still go down.
“The possibility of needing a positive result to stay up did get mentioned,” said Cook in an interview with the Daily Echo. “How times have changed!
“A couple of weeks ago, we were thinking we might need to go there to win to get a place in the play-offs. I think that just shows how far we have come this season. It wasn’t to be but we still have a job to do.
“We are going there to win, it is as simple as that. We want to finish as high as possible and can climb another spot so that is the target. We are treating it like any other game. We know it is going to be an unbelievable atmosphere but these are the games you want to play in and this is why we are in this league.
“We have been speaking about this game for a long time and, hopefully, we can go there and enjoy it. The atmosphere at the Den is always great and they are going to have to raise the roof because of their situation.
“Personally, I think they are safe anyway but they will need to win to make sure so it should be a good spectacle because both teams will be going all out for the three points.”
Millwall are two points above the drop zone, although their goal difference is vastly inferior to third-bottom Birmingham who travel to Bolton.
Doncaster, a point below the Lions, visit champions Leicester, while Blackpool host Charlton.
Asked for his take on the relegation situation, Cook said: “I think Birmingham have it all to do because Bolton is such a tough place to go. But you never know. Blackpool went to Wigan and won 2-0 and who would have thought that would happen?
“I don’t think anyone can call it but I am just glad we are miles away from it and haven’t got to worry. We will have good travelling support and want to go out with a win.
"It is going to be a tough game but how many times have we said that this season and come away with a fantastic result.”
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