CHERRIES stalwart Lewis Cook believes his teammates “need to know” how big an accomplishment surpassing the 40-point mark is for the Dorset club.

A 1-0 win over Crystal Palace took Cherries to 41 points in the Premier League on Tuesday night, with Cook and co. effectively safe with eight games to go thanks to a 19-point cushion above the relegation spots.

Last season Cherries stayed up with 39 points, with Cook stating their current points total was a “massive achievement” that should not be taken for granted.

He told the Daily Echo: “I think the lads need to know it's a massive achievement.

“I think we have been here for a long time now and it's always been going down to the wire.

“So to be on 41 points, I think it's a massive achievement in this league.

“We had a tough start at the start of the season and then had a great run and another little sticky patch, but we're doing well now and the lads deserve it because they work incredibly hard.

“I think obviously when I first came here it was always 40 points you want to try and get to.

“And we’ve just got to realise (how big an achievement it is) and try and push on now.

“If we can get another few good games in the last remainder of the season, we can keep climbing the league.”

Discussing the match itself, Cook continued: “Sometimes it's hard to gauge the game, but I felt like they had a few clear-cut chances, but not too many overall.

“I felt like we were pushing them for a large majority of the game and got the goal in the end to seal the three points, so it was a tough game.

“I think they affect you, how you play, they kind of slow it down.

“So a different type of game for us, but good to win differently.”

Cook started the game in an unfamiliar centre-back role in the absence of Chris Mepham, who missed out due to illness.

Asked if he knew he would be playing at the back, Cook responded: “I think the gaffer kind of keeps it quite close to himself, but maybe I had a little bit of an inkling.

“Obviously he didn't say anything, so I didn’t know.

“I’ve filled in there a few times, but I think (against Palace) was a lot different.

“I think starting there was a challenge and I enjoy the challenge.

“I felt like I did all right. Some bits could have been better, but it's all learning, to be honest.”

Palace frontman Jean-Philippe Matete towered over Cook, but Cherries purposely tasked Illia Zabarnyi with handling the target man.

Former Leeds United man Cook was asked to deal with the threat of Eberechi Eze.

He explained: “I think when you've got Illia Zabarnyi next to you, and Lloyd Kelly they can affect the headers.

“I've just got to try and give my all if I can try and win the header or just affect him as a player.

“I had Eberechi Eze to think about as well.

“He was drifting everywhere.”