It’s always good to read about Lee Cook and the following article by Yan Tear appeared in the local Gazette this week – Steve Russell
Lee Cook has promised to give his agent a big kiss for getting him back to Loftus Road after a dead-end spell down the road at Fulham. Unlike many players who have turned up at Loftus Road in the past professing to love the club, Cook really means it. He was prepared to pass on his signing-on fee at Craven Cottage back to Rangers a year ago – at a time when they were in financial purgatory. And when it became clear it was not going to work out at the Cottage, Rangers were the only club he wanted to play for.
“I didn’t want to go anywhere else,” he told the Gazette this week. “I told my agent I don’t want to go up north or play for any other team in this league and if you can make that possible, I’ll give you a big kiss. I was getting the vibes from the management that I wasn’t in their plans and I was telling my agent that if things don’t happen down here, there’s only one place I want to go. That’s what he did and it’s happened.”
Cook had little luck at Fulham. He missed the first half of the season with a knee injury – an initial cartilage operation having failed to do the trick. Then when he was ready to come back, he found the man who took him there, Lawrie Sanchez, was no longer in charge. An unremarkable loan spell at Charlton followed. “The whole year at Fulham, I don’t think I was even on the training pitch. It was pretty much a write-off season down there,” Cook admitted. “I was still two months away from playing when Lawrie Sanchez was given the sack and when Roy Hodgson came in he signed seven or eight players so it was always going to be difficult for the players signed by Sanchez to get into the team.” Cook continued: “I was disappointed I didn’t get a chance to show what I can do at Fulham but the ultimate dream has always been to play here (at QPR) in the Premier League.”
“It was always going to be difficult for me going back after Charlton to break into the Fulham team. No matter how well I’d done in pre-season – and I was training well and playing well – I couldn’t do any more really. It was a case of he’s got his players down there and I wasn’t going to be given a chance. Now I want to consistently perform, like the season I was here before I left. You’ve got to be consistent home and away because it’s such a tough division. If I can put the performances in and the gaffer’s happy with me, that’s all I can do and if my other team mates can do it too, we’ll be up there !”
Fans will be delighted Cook is back. They took to him during his first spell and were impressed with his signing-on gesture. He received a rapturous reception on his return to Loftus Road with Charlton in April and was mobbed when he joined R’s fans in the Stands for QPR’s FA Cup tie at Chelsea last season. “When I came here with Charlton, the reception I got when I came off left my granddad and dad up in the Stands with a tear in their eye,” he said. “It was so emotional with 17 or 18 thousand chanting my name. It was mad. I’ve got a special relationship with the fans and I’m hoping to entertain them this year. I’m so happy to be back down here and it’s exciting times. I’ve come here on loan with a view to a permanent move and in my eyes I’m here for the next three years.”
Cook added: ”You’ve got to believe you will play in the Premier League or it’s not going to happen. Before I used to think it, but now it’s closer to that dream with these owners. The club deserves another crack at the big time and hopefully I’m part of that. I expected changes here because Bernie and Flavio don’t muck about, but when you see it for yourself, it’s quite amazing.”
Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette