Howe out to help Cook fulfil World Cup dream

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Midfielder Lewis Cook has what it takes to secure his place in England’s World Cup squad, according to Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe

The 21-year-old earned a first senior cap when coming on during the second half of the 1-1 draw against Italy at Wembley on Tuesday night.

England manager Gareth Southgate is now considering which 23 players he will take to Russia.

Howe has no doubts York-born Cook should have his sights set firmly on being on the plane to Russia.

“Hopefully this is the first of many caps for him. I think it can give him that self-belief and confidence to say that he deserved to be there and he belonged at that level,” said the Bournemouth manager of the Leeds United academy product.

“If you consider the players that he’s now training with it will be a great experience for him. I’m sure one that he will never forget or take for granted.

“The aim for him now is to try to improve every day as he has done since he signed here, to fulfil the potential that he’s got.”

Howe added: “I’m sure that (being in the World Cup squad) is there for him and we want to try and help him get there in any way that we can.

“But he has to take care of his form with us and I think that is the priority and he now has to really focus on our next game.”

For the Cherries that is a trip to Watford.

Both teams are sitting in mid-table on 36 points, and victory for either at Vicarage Road would all but guarantee Premier League survival.

“It will go a long way to helping either team (stay up),” said Howe, who took his squad out to Dubai during a break from Premier League action because of the FA Cup.

“We have always had very tough games against Watford and they beat us here earlier in the season.

“There has not been a lot between the teams. I anticipate this one to be tight as well and hopefully we can come out on top.”

The Bournemouth manager added: “We always set an objective, which is healthy for the players, but we have to focus on every game.

“This one will have a bearing on our season because if we can get close to our target of last year, or beat it, then it will be a great season.”

Bournemouth finished ninth on 46 points last season, recording 12 victories.