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Steve Cook makes bullish remark on Fulham and AFC Bournemouth amid West Brom, Blackburn Rovers, QPR challenge



AFC Bournemouth centre-back Steve Cook believes it will take a ‘very good team’ to push his side and automatic promotion rivals Fulham out of the top two, speaking on the club’s official podcast.

The duo previously emerged as the two favourites to secure their returns to the Premier League, pulling away from a stuttering West Bromwich Albion side and capitalising on other sides’ inconsistency as both were able to limit their draws and maximise their victories.

This proved to be West Brom’s downfall in November, drawing four of their five games and even falling out of third position at one point after QPR’s victory at Derby County late last month.

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But they have managed to get their act together in recent games, winning against Coventry City in spite of an unavailability crisis in central midfield and dealing with multiple Covid cases to take all three points against Reading last weekend.

This, combined with Fulham’s four consecutive draws and Bournemouth’s failure to win in their last five league matches, has opened up the race for the automatic promotion spots once again and the Baggies now find themselves just three points behind the Cherries.

With Albion’s tie against relegation strugglers Barnsley taking place tomorrow night, Valerien Ismael’s men have the opportunity to go level on points with Scott Parker’s side, though it would take a win by a margin of six or more goals to take the West Midlands outfit into the top two going into the weekend.

But experienced Bournemouth central defender Cook believes it will take something special for the current top two to be knocked off their perch, saying: “It (Fulham vs Bournemouth match) reminded me of a Premier League game.

“I thought Fulham were very good and you can see why they are up there with us. Obviously, we would have loved to have held on but I did think it was a good game, great game for the Championship.

“Bournemouth and Fulham and setting the standards so far and I think it will take a very good team to break that. In saying that, we need to get back to winning ways soon.”

The Verdict:

In fairness to Cook, he did go on to say there’s plenty of football still to be played, but this is a bold statement and one that will be a great source of encouragement for Fulham with this heavy praise coming from a direct rival.

They certainly look like they have the attacking firepower to secure their return to the Premier League and if they can keep Aleksandar Mitrovic on top form, there’s no reason why they can’t go on to achieve this aim.

Bournemouth also showed their capabilities earlier in the season, staying strong defensively and conceding just one goal away from home in their first eight league matches on the road this term.

Although the goals haven’t stopped flowing for them, their main task will now be getting their backline back on track after failing to keep a clean sheet in their past five league matches.

But West Brom certainly shouldn’t be ruled out at this stage despite their weaknesses, because they have some very capable players and if they can start firing in the final third, there’s every chance they will take one of the top-two spots at the end of the campaign.

A fearless Blackburn Rovers squad and a very capable QPR side should also be looking up at the automatic promotion spots after their solid respective starts to their campaign, although the Baggies look like the team most capable of staying with the top two with the strength of their squad.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Steve Cook makes bullish remark on Fulham and AFC Bournemouth amid West Brom, Blackburn Rovers, QPR challenge

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