STEVE Cook warned Cherries to avoid thinking about their summer holidays early and insisted: “Everyone is playing now to build for next season.”

Despite a 1-0 home defeat to Fulham last time out, the Dorset club secured a fifth season in the Premier League on Sunday, after Cardiff were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool.

But with a club record top-flight points haul still in their sights, as well as a derby showdown at rivals Southampton on Saturday (3pm), stand-in skipper Cook is eager for his side to keep their focus.

He said: “Everyone is playing now to build for next season, so if there’s any player who feels they are on holiday already, it’s dangerous.

“That’s when you leave yourself open to – like against Fulham – getting slightly embarrassed and losing games we shouldn’t do.

“I am sure the manager and the leaders in the group will urge for us to give more and we need more wins before the end of the season.

“We now have a huge game for our fans. I don’t think we have won there (at St Mary’s), so I don’t see any more of an incentive than that.

“We will be giving it everything, we want to get a little bit of pride back after Fulham and it’s a huge game.”

Eddie Howe’s men are four points clear of Saints with three games of the campaign remaining.

Victory over Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men would ensure Cherries finished as the highest-placed south coast club for the second straight year.

Asked whether he felt the rivalry between Cherries and Saints had been growing, centre-half Cook replied: “It should be. There is not a lot of distance between the two places and there has always been an element of a rivalry there.

“With Southampton not being able to play Portsmouth, this is probably the next big thing for them.

“I don’t think their fans see us as a massive rival but they might be kidding themselves and trying to wind up our fans.

“We want to increase the gap which is on them already. If they finish above us it will be a really frustrating season. Teams below us can still leapfrog us – we want to be finishing as high as possible.

“The incentives are there – it’s whether we want it enough.”

Saints are currently six points above the bottom three.

They scored the fastest goal in Premier League history on Tuesday, when Shane Long netted at Watford after just 7.69 seconds to help earn a 1-1 draw.

Cook admitted he hoped Southampton avoided the drop in a bid to keep growing the rivalry.

“I would love Southampton and us to be in the Premier League for as long as possible because it is nice to have that edge to a game,” he said.

“They have always been good games between Bournemouth and Southampton and I think the rivalry is growing.”