MILESTONE-hitter Steve Cook has relished confounding his critics to achieve a near five-year stay at Cherries and has set his sights on 500 appearances for the Dorset club.

The Hastings-born centre-half made his 200th outing in Saturday's record-breaking 6-1 win over Hull City and will next week celebrate his five-year anniversary at Dean Court, having initially joined on loan from Brighton before making a permanent move for a bargain £170,000.

Cook, at fault for Hull's equaliser before swiftly earning redemption at the other end, is one of the survivors of Cherries' League One team and has long been one of boss Eddie Howe's most trusted lieutenants.

Reflecting on his fruitful spell at Dean Court, Cook told the Daily Echo: "It's gone in the blink of an eye. I love it here and I love playing for the club. I'm not one of the fans' favourites and maybe every year there are calls for me not to be in the team.

"But I'm still here. The gaffer's got faith in me and it's up to me to improve and keep myself in this team.

"I'm still only 25 so, hopefully, my best days are ahead of me and I want to go on to make 400 or 500 appearances, so that is my next target.

"I've made a lot of appearances in a short amount of time. I can't remember how many games I've missed but it's not too many. It's pleasing and I'm hoping to build on that and, hopefully, stay here for a very long time."

Cook admitted he had experienced a fairytale ending to his landmark appearance against the Tigers, although Ryan Mason's first-half leveller threatened to upset the defender's afternoon.

Having initially given possession away, Cook saw Mason's shot cruelly deflect off him and beyond the helpless Artur Boruc.

However, just seven minutes later, the ex-Mansfield Town loan star rose well to powerfully head Junior Stanislas's whipped delivery beyond Tigers goalkeeper David Marshall.

Cook added: "I probably rushed the pass and after that I tried to make amends by blocking it whereas if I had left the ball, Artur would comfortably have picked it up.

"I've been working on keeping going and fortunately enough, I scored a header, it was all forgotten about and we kicked on.

"As a defender, you are going to make mistakes. That's football. Maybe a few years ago I would have gone under and had a poor game but at the end of the day it's all about the team.

"If we had drawn 1-1, I would have had to bury my head in the sand but we've got a great team and we showed how good we are going forward. We absolutely smashed them and it's been coming for a long time.

"It was a fairytale ending for me. I was due a goal and we had been working the previous week on our set-plays.

"We hadn't scored enough and Junior's ball was excellent and gave me a chance to attack it, and fortunately it went in the bottom corner."