AFC Bournemouth defender Steve Cook is desperate to keep his place in the Cherries first team next season.
Cook has signed a new three year deal at Dean Court, but knows it will not be easy to keep his place in the side following promotion from League One last season.
Cook and captain Tommy Elphick were Eddie Howe’s first choice defensive partnership towards the end of the promotion winning campaign, however at the start of the season under former manager Paul Groves and initially under Howe, Cook was third choice behind Elphick and former captain Miles Addison.
With Addison returning from injury during pre season alongside centre half Stephane Zubar who also returns from the treatment room, Howe’s defensive options had already grown prior to the summer signings of Elliott Ward and Ian Harte on free transfers from Norwich and Reading respectively.
With improved competition for places going into the Championship, Cook is determined to remain in the starting line up come the start of the season.
Cook told the Daily Echo…
“…It is going to be a long, hard season in the Championship and some people are going to be disappointed when the manager names the team for the first game. But it is not about individuals, it is about the team and the squad. We want to come together, like we did last season.
“It would be stupid for me to think I might play every game because there are going to be injuries and dips in form. There will be friendly rivalry and fierce competition for places and I am sure we will all get the best out of one another.
“I am gunning for a spot in the team and, if I haven`t deserved it after pre-season then I will have nobody else to blame but myself. There will be no excuses and it is going to be down to me to make sure I don`t give the manager a reason not to play me.”
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