STEVE Cook says fellow centre-back Chris Mepham has “the world at his feet”.

Talented Wales international Mepham has recently enjoyed a run in the team since joining Cherries from Brentford in the January transfer window for a fee believed to be around £12million.

Having initially had to wait for his chance, the 21-year-old was parachuted into the side following an injury to Cook and has started the past eight top-flight matches.

Cook returned for the first time in two months in the 5-0 win at Brighton and partnered Mepham in the heart of the defence, with Nathan Ake shifting to left-back.

And having spent a spell watching on from the sidelines recovering from his groin problem, Cook has been impressed by what he’s seen from the young defender.

He told the Daily Echo: “Meps is a great lad, so calm and good on the ball at such a young age.

“He’s got the world at his feet because playing in the Premier League at 21, there’s not many centre-halves doing that.

“I thought he defended outstandingly against Brighton. He’s got a great future and hopefully he can keep pushing.

“I wish I was 21 again. He’s with an unbelievable manager who will improve him.”

Mepham is not the only international who has impressed while playing for Cherries this campaign.

Ryan Fraser, David Brooks and Callum Wilson all found the net against Brighton, taking Cherries' Premier League goals tally to 49 this season, the seventh highest figure in the division.

Cherries will be looking to put smiles back on home faces when they welcome Fulham on Saturday (3pm), having lost against Burnley in their last game at Vitality Stadium.

Already-relegated Fulham have the leakiest defence in the Premier League, conceding 76, but they did bag their first win under caretaker manager Scott Parker against Everton last time out.

And Cook, who faced Parker during his playing days at Fulham, expects the interim boss to be a success.

He said: “I think he’ll be a great manager for them.

“Obviously he’s inherited a team that were more or less down at the time, so a really difficult job for him.

“But I think he’s going to be a top manager by the looks of it and it’s going to be a really tough game against Fulham.

“For me, when they came up I thought they’d really kick on and be a great team. Obviously it hasn’t gone that way and we’ve got to guard against them being relaxed and enjoying themselves.”

He added: “We haven’t won back-to-back games as often as we’d have liked.

“We want to go unbeaten for the rest of the season now and go into the summer on a high.”