Thursday 13 December 2018

Howe hopes Bournemouth midfielder Cook looks to Wilson for inspiration

The 21-year-old is set for a lengthy spell of rehabilitation.

Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook, right, had forced his way into the England senior set-up. (Adam Davy/PA Wire)
Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook, right, had forced his way into the England senior set-up. (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

By Press Association Sport staff

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe hopes midfielder Lewis Cook can draw strength from the recovery of team-mate Callum Wilson as he faces a lengthy spell of rehabilitation from a serious knee injury.

The 21-year-old looks set to be sidelined for up to nine months after it was confirmed he had ruptured anterior cruciate ligament during the 2-1 Premier League victory over Huddersfield on Tuesday night.

Cook captained England to Under-20 World Cup success in 2017 and had impressed for the Cherries with a string of consistent displays over the past couple of seasons.

The midfielder, signed from Leeds during July 2016, earned a first senior England cap as a substitute in the 1-1 friendly draw against Italy at Wembley in March, but is now set for an extended spell out of the game.

Bournemouth manager Howe fully understands the impact of such set-back on both the player and the person.

Howe, though, feels the example shown by Wilson’s determination to twice recovery from ACL injuries, one in each knee, and then win himself a place in the England forward line can prove a great source of strength.

“Lewis is okay, but naturally disappointed. He’s already planning and plotting his comeback,” Howe said.

“The first step for Lewis is to get the operation out of the way this weekend. We of course will be with him every step of the way and wish him well as he begins his journey back.”

Howe added at a press conference reported by the club: “I see Callum as a good one for Lewis to look to.

“There are other people in the squad that can help and support Lewis, but for Callum having being there twice there’s a natural progression for Lewis to look at.

“I am sure he will be asking Callum about the things he did during his rehab and how he has come back and reached the levels he is currently at.

“For me, the most important thing is that Lewis adopts Callum’s positivity. I know he will and we’re excited to see him come back stronger than ever.”

Howe is confident the rest of the group will rally round.

“We believe we have got a strong enough squad to withstand these moments,” the Bournemouth boss said.

“It is an opportunity for other players to step up and really grab the mantle.

“It is what it is. It is unfortunate, it is not what we wanted, but it is something we will have to adapt to.”

Bournemouth host title-challengers Liverpool looking to build some momentum of their own after finally ending a four-match losing streak with victory over Huddersfield on Tuesday night.

Howe, though, is not expecting anything other than the toughest of tests. “We are going to have to be absolutely excellent in every department. It is a big challenge for us against Liverpool,” he said.

“We know their strengths, how good they can be. For us we are looking at a top performance and hopefully the result will come our way.”

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