LEWIS Cook expressed his enjoyment at being back starting in the Championship for Cherries but added: “We know we weren’t at it.”

Total of 261 days had passed since Cook last started a senior game for the club, having sustained a serious knee injury at Preston back in March.

The former Leeds midfielder played 61 minutes of Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Derby County – Cherries were 2-1 up when Cook made way for Gavin Kilkenny.

He said: “For me personally, I was happy with being on the pitch again, enjoying kicking the ball around and that’s the main thing for me.

“It’s part of the process trying to take everything as it comes. I felt ready for Sunday and just unfortunately, we couldn’t get the three points.”

Cherries were undone by Tom Lawrence’s double in the second half against the Rams – their first away defeat in the Championship all season.

Cook added: “It’s disappointing. I think in the season, every loss we have we are going to be bitterly disappointed.

“We set such good, high marks for ourselves this season with the start we’ve had.

“We weren’t at it and I think it’s a good game to look back on and see what went wrong, how to improve and how to put it right for the next game.

“We got a little bit more control towards the end of the first half, second half we were similar.

“But they got a sniff and then they started really putting pressure on to us.

“We’ve got to be able to deal with that. We are good enough players to deal with that.

“It was a massive game for them as a club, going through some tough times. We knew they were going to be at it to try to prove a point.

“I think every team of players is going to want to prove a point, like they did on Sunday – we need to realise that and play better.”

Cook will hope to be involved when the Dorset club make the trip to Millwall on Wednesday (7.45pm).