Sunday, 1 September 2013

Cook has warmed to his task in the Championship

It may not have been the expected partnership at centre back that everyone would have plumped for at the start of the season to lead AFCB, but Steve Cook and Elliott Ward are growing in their understanding. That means that Tommy Elphick, who has had a slower start is now sitting on the bench more often than not.

This has had some impact on the team as Simon Francis has taken on the role of on the field captain. At the moment the overall performances of the team have seen some swings but the points return is more than satisfactory. The fact that no ructions have been caused with some players having to wait their turn is a sign that team spirit is very strong.  I believe that Tommy Elphick also has the kind of personality to show others that such things should not be a problem when the team is doing well. As the captain, the subs bench is not where he wants to be but he is still part of the squad, and has managed to keep positive when it would be easy for him to be down.

Steve Cook is becoming one of the first names on the team sheet.
I believe Eddie Howe is very aware of the potential problem as he made clear in his post match comments after the Doncaster Rovers game. "We have managed to keep the spirit good which is always difficult with a big squad and the more members you add there is an element of players that won't feature," he said.

Still, Cook has been a revelation. I could see it in the last few games of last season when he was playing particularly well. He has carried it on and is excelling in the Championship. It is important for players to grasp the chance when they can and Steve is one that is starting to make it difficult for Eddie Howe to do anything than write his name down on the team sheet straight away.

There will come a time when we need Tommy Elphick and possibly Miles Addis
on and Joe Partington, but for the moment the gaffer feels that Ward and Cook are doing a very good job for AFCB.

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