NEWS Thursday 27th September 2012, 4:17pm
CRAIG Cook believes Edinburgh Monarchs have landed in the toughest of the two Premier League play-off groups but he predicted: “We can win this.”
The gritty Cumbrian is set to make his comeback for the West Lothian side as they entertain Scunthorpe Scorpions tomorrow (FRI, 7.30pm).
And Cook, who has been sidelined since mid-August with a broken wrist, conceded: “We’ll all have to hit top form on the night.”
That’s something Monarchs have failed to do all season but the 25-year-old declared: “There is no reason why we can’t win this. Sure, we have drawn Scunthorpe who finished second in the league and Workington Comets who finished fourth.
“The other group of Newcastle, Somerset and Leicester is not as strong, but we can make the final if we all click.
“That’s not really happened all season. Three or four of us have had a good day but the rest haven’t.
“We all need to hit form on the same day and this would be a good time to get it right.”
Whitehaven-born Cook, nicknamed the Cookie Monster, has been kicking his heels since his crash in skipper Matthew Wethers Testimonial at Armadale in mid-August.
The former Workington rider, who also doubles-up with Elite League side Belle Vue Aces, as well as being Monarchs No 1, said: “It’s been difficult. There was nothing I could do and I’ve virtually been housebound.
“I’ve been up to Armadale to watch a couple of times, but that’s really hard for me as I want to be involved.
“I’m OK now. I rode in the second-half at Armadale last week and was on the Workington training track on Saturday.
“I’ve also been in the gym three or four times and it hurt more there than it did on the bike.
“However, I’ve been given the all-clear from the hospital and now I can’t wait for Friday.
“Hopefully, I can get some big scores before the end of the season but the play-offs will be tough.”
Defiant Cook added: “Scunthorpe won at Armadale last month and they will think they can come here and do it again – no way.
“That night it was a lottery because of the track. It will be difficult for the track guys with all this rain, but if we can get a good track then we can win the first-leg and go there on Sunday and finish it off.”
The Comets fixtures lie ahead but Cook said: “At Workington, we’ll have to gate well. There is very little passing at Workington as I know as I was there for a year.
“It will be really hard but we’ll all have to get dialled in quickly and I’m willing to pass on what I know to the guys to get the job done.”