Bournemouth Echo

Lewis Cook vows to put in the hard yards after featuring in front of Gareth Southgate

Lewis Cook vows to put in the hard yards after featuring in front of Gareth Southgate

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GRAFTER Lewis Cook vowed to keep putting in the hard yards after being watched by Gareth Southgate on Sunday.

The talented midfielder was one of a number of homegrown players on show for the England boss to cast his eye over as he took in Cherries’ 4-1 defeat at Huddersfield Town.

As well as Cook, both Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe have also been backed as contenders for Southgate’s World Cup squad.

And the former Leeds United youngster insisted it was a compliment to both clubs to have the national manager in attendance.

Asked whether he knew Southgate had been present, the 21-year-old told the Daily Echo: “I wasn’t aware. I don’t know if he was watching me but, if he was, I guess it’s good.

“I will just keep getting my head down and concentrating on football and that’s the main thing, to keep enjoying it and improving.

“If he came to watch these teams, it’s a compliment to us all.”

Cook earned a surprise call-up to the England senior squad in November after a stellar 2017 at international level.

He captained England under-20s to World Cup glory in South Korea in the summer before making the seamless transition into Aidy Boothroyd’s under-21 set-up.

After impressing in that age group, Southgate decided to draft the Cherries midfielder into his senior squad for a friendly against Brazil.

“It was good to be there with England and experience it,” added Cook.

“I didn’t get on the pitch but it is something to work hard and strive for, something which every English player wants.”

The 21-year-old endured an incident-packed afternoon against the Terriers, in which he gave away the free-kick which led to the hosts' second goal.

He fouled skipper Jonathan Hogg which allowed Aaron Mooy to deliver for Steve Mounie, who applied a strong headed finish.

Cook also clashed with Mooy on 70 minutes, which resulted in the Australian international being stretchered off with a knee injury.

He added: “I don’t think any of us were on our game.

“We know we have a lot more quality than that and I think we need to make sure we are better.

“I think we lacked a bit of fight and winning of second balls. We know we didn’t deliver. On the ball, I think we were fine but there are things to work on for the next game.

“The fans travelled so far and we appreciate the effort they give to go to the games. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the win for them.”

York-born Cook admitted he had been looking forward to his return to Yorkshire but said not heading south with a victory had put a dampener on proceedings.

“Coming back is really nice but we didn’t get the win,” he added.

“Every game you play in the Premier League is a real experience, you learn from these games.

“We want a run of games to come as quickly as we can. We will put in a lot of work until then to make sure we are ready.”