Wednesday 28 June 2017

Cook urges Bournemouth to make Vitality a fortress

Bournemouth 1 Everton 0

Bournemouth's Junior Stanislas celebrates his goal. Photo: Getty
Bournemouth's Junior Stanislas celebrates his goal. Photo: Getty

Nick Purewal

Steve Cook has challenged Bournemouth to turn the Vitality Stadium into the kind of venue opponents hate visiting. Defender Cook is hoping the Cherries can go on to better last term's tally of five home league wins after helping his side claim victory over Everton on Saturday.

Junior Stanislas' fine 20-yard drive handed Eddie Howe's side their second consecutive 1-0 win at home, as Bournemouth hit back after their 4-0 drubbing at Manchester City and 3-2 EFL Cup loss to Preston.

Everton's Romelu Lukaku of (C) and Bournemouth's Simon Francis (CL) battle for possession. Photo: Getty
Everton's Romelu Lukaku of (C) and Bournemouth's Simon Francis (CL) battle for possession. Photo: Getty

Howe wants his side to seize on victory over an in-form Everton as a springboard for further top-flight progress, and Cook echoed his manager's aims.

"Last season we didn't actually get that many home wins so we've targeted improving upon that," said Cook. "We need to make this a tough place for teams to come.

"That's two clean sheets back to back at home in the league now, and we really need to build on that The first-half display was up there with the best we've had. We could have been two or three-nil up and we'll always take a clean sheet."

Everton boss Ronald Koeman insisted in defeat that Bournemouth have too much quality to be embroiled in the relegation battle.

Junior Stanislas' goal. Photo: Getty
Junior Stanislas' goal. Photo: Getty

Howe remains on constant alert to downplay any hype around the Cherries however, as the south coast men embark on their second top-flight campaign.

Wednesday's home loss to Preston, hot on the heels of that hammering at Manchester City, left Howe challenging his players to issue a strong response.

Cook believes Bournemouth duly produced the right response, then admitted they must retain sharp focus ahead of Saturday's league trip to Watford.

Everton defender Leighton Baines missed the defeat with a hamstring problem, leaving the 31-year-old a doubt for Friday's home league clash with Crystal Palace.

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