CAPTAIN Steve Cook said David Brooks was probably the best player in the Championship and added: “We need to keep him and go up to the Premier League.”

Playmaker Brooks produced another dazzling display as he terrorised Nottingham Forest during a 2-0 victory for Cherries at Vitality Stadium on Tuesday.

The Warrington-born star showed superb vision to pick out the run of Junior Stanislas for the opener after just three minutes.

Brooks has scored twice and registered three assists during Cherries’ past three games – all of which have resulted in victories.

Asked about the 23-year-old’s dazzling form following a nightmare spell out with an ankle injury, Cook told the Daily Echo: “I’m delighted for him because for the past year to 18 months has been really difficult.

“For anyone to be out for a year and have two operations, it’s going to take time to get back into it.

“We are seeing the best of him now. It’s now all about managing him, keeping him fit.

“He’s positive, very confident and he’s probably the best player in this league.

“We need to make the most of him. We need to keep him and go up to the Premier League – I’m sure then everyone will be happy.”

In an interview earlier this month, Brooks admitted he was “desperate” to get back to the Premier League and added: “Hopefully it’s with Bournemouth.”

Asked how key it would be to keep hold of an in-form Brooks, Cook replied: “The club aren’t stupid. We need to keep our best players to get out of this league.

“We’ve got an aim. Every player in the changing room has got that aim.

“We want to put everything right from last year – and that includes Brooksy.

“I think the fans will be very pleased with his performances and don’t worry too much.”

Cook himself celebrated his 350th appearance for the club during the victory over Chris Hughton’s side – although he admitted the milestone came as a surprise.

“I’m delighted to make that. Hopefully I can make many more in the future and see where it takes us,” he added.

“To be honest, I didn’t realise it was my 350th until someone tweeted me!

“It’s not something I keep track on. I am just focused on staying in the team first and foremost and performing when I’m in it.

“It was an enjoyable night. Especially scoring early, it settled the game down nicely.

“We knew what Forest probably looked to do. Soak up pressure and hit us on the counter-attack.

“But when you score early it opens up the game. I think it could have been three or four if we’d been more ruthless.”