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First team

Gaffer will be his own man says Cook


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

When the AFC Bournemouth squad reports back for work on Monday, the man previously known as JT will now be addressed as gaffer.

Having spent more than 450 games as Eddie Howe trusted lieutenant, Jason Tindall will be in charge for the first day of pre-season training and testing.

Tindall, appointed a week ago as Howe’s successor, will be hoping the Cherries can hit the ground running as they look to reclaim a place in the Premier League at the first time of asking.

For long-serving defender Steve Cook, Tindall’s presence as the main man on the training ground will bring familiarity but also a trip into the unknown.

Preparing for his tenth season with the Cherries, all but 34 of Cook’s 337 appearances for the club have come under Howe and Tindall’s management.

He told afcb.co.uk: “I’m excited. I know he will bring his own ideas and try to take the team in his own direction.

“I’ve been coached a lot by him over the years because he focused on the defensive side and the set-plays. I’ve got to know him extremely well, both on and off the pitch.

“In terms of what to expect, I don’t know and that’s the nice thing because you are going into something new.

“It is going to be totally different for me and the other players. Although I know him really well, in some respects, I’m heading into the unknown because I’ve never worked with him as a manager.

“I don’t think he will want to change too much because the club has had so much success on the pitch.

“I don’t expect massive change but I do expect some because he’s going to want to put his own stamp on the team.

“He will have his own ideas about the way he wants the players to play and express themselves.

“We need to quickly rediscover the confidence as well so we can get back to where we want to be.

“He was always hands-on with the team so I don’t think much will change in that respect.

“I know him well as a coach and he’s strict and demanding. He always knew how to put Eddie’s ideas over and I know he will be the same with his own.

“When he coached us, the drills he put on were his ideas and now he can put all his ideas into place because he’s very tactically-minded.

“His sessions were always fun as well and that’s important because you need to keep players engaged.

“He’s got a great footballing brain as well so I’m looking forward to the challenges he’s going to put in place for us.

“I’m sure he will want to be known as gaffer and that’s how it should be.”

Asked whether he felt a quick turnaround between seasons would be a help or a hindrance, Cook replied: “I think it will be good for us because we can get straight to the point.

“Sometimes, when pre-season is six or seven weeks, you can forget what you did in week one when it comes to week seven.

“I see this as a positive for us. We can work on the things we need to and the things the new manager wants us to.

“We can get in a few friendlies and then crack on with the competitive games. We want to attack things head on and a quick turnaround suits us.”

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