STEVE Cook fanned the derby flames between Cherries and Southampton and insisted: “I’m sure it’s not a derby for them when they lose!”

The talismanic centre-half skippered his side to a first ever victory at Saints on Friday after a historic 3-1 triumph.

And he believes the “rivalry will grow” between the clubs the more they face off in the future.

Asked whether winning at Saints more often would make it more of a derby, Cook told the Daily Echo: “I’m sure it’s not a derby for them when they lose!

“But for us, a lot gets said about it. Our fans had never had a good day there to sing and cheer about.

“The more games we have, the longer we play each other I am sure the rivalry will grow. I think it’s a rivalry and there’s just maybe a little bit of denial.”

Cook admitted his relief after Callum Wilson tucked home the third goal for Eddie Howe’s men in stoppage time to seal success at St Mary’s.

Following goals from Nathan Ake and Harry Wilson, the hosts had been given a lifeline when Cook fouled Che Adams in the box. James Ward-Prowse converted the resulting spot-kick to make it 2-1.

Quizzed on his emotions when Cherries’ third went in, the 28-year-old replied: “It was pure relief because it was 50 minutes of just pure defending.

“We hung on, rode our luck but I think we deserved that bit of luck throughout the 95 minutes. Now it’s just a great feeling.

“They (the fans) have a really difficult job supporting us because it’s a lot of miles, we are miles away from everywhere.

“But when you see how happy and overjoyed the fans are after the game it makes it even more sweet. I really hoped they enjoyed it. You could see how much it meant to them after the game. That was a really nice moment for the club.”

Victory ensured Cherries recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since January, having beaten Everton 3-1 at home five days previously.

The Dorset club have picked up 10 points from their opening six games. Their only defeats have come against Manchester City and Leicester.

“Cast back two weeks ago at Leicester and it was a bad start. Now, back-to-back wins just shows what it can do,” said Cook.

“Now we have a big week coming up. Consistency is what we are after, that’s the next step for us.”

Assessing Cook’s display, Cherries manager Howe added: “He put in some great blocks late in the game. Made some very important aerial challenges from crosses and he could be very pleased with his game.

“The penalty was one of those things, the most important thing from the team’s perspective is we didn’t go under at that point. We stayed strong. With Nathan alongside him, who was very impressive, our two centre-halves did a great job.”