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Cook relieved as Cherries stand firm for clean sheet

Bournemouth 2 Swansea City 0

By Mark Mann-Bryans

Steve Cook praised Bournemouth's back four as the Cherries finally kept their first clean sheet of 2017 in Saturday's vital 2-0 win over fellow relegation candidates Swansea.

Eddie Howe's had slipped alarmingly down the table having not managed to keep a clean sheet since a New Year's Eve victory against the Swans.

Last weekend's 3-2 win over West Ham was fraught with tension but against Paul Clement's Swansea the defence stood firm and was largely unchallenged, and Cook knows that is not a coincidence.

"A clean sheet has been a long time coming," he said. "As a back four we've been working really hard in the last couple of weeks and ever since Manchester United we've looked very solid.

"I'm delighted, it's like scoring goals when you're a defender so a clean sheet is huge for us."

While keeping Swansea out at one end, the Cherries had Benik Afobe to thank for sealing a huge three points which takes them as high as 12th.

The former Wolves striker saw his tame first half strike deflected in off the unwitting Alfie Mawson, with the Swans man credited with an own goal.

But after the interval Afobe, who has struggled for form since joining the club last January, finished off the visitors with a well-taken effort.

"All week we've been talking about getting our first back-to-back Premier League wins. We've done that today and luckily enough I've scored the goal," Afobe said.

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