Albion prospect Steve Cook has joined Mansfield on loan until January.

Boss Gus Poyet believes the move to the East Midlands will add another ingredient to Cook’s footballing education.

The 19-year-old defender has just completed an impressive month on loan at Eastbourne Borough, which ended with his first senior goal in Saturday’s 4-2 home defeat by Luton.

Borough wanted to keep him for the rest of the season but Poyet felt a switch to another Blue Square Bet premier club in a different part of the country will be more beneficial to Hastings-born Cook.

The Uruguayan said: “We know now that he is more than ready to play in that division. Now we want him to go away from here, to take him as you would say in England out of the comfort zone – not being at home with friends and not knowing anyone.

“He is going to be in a different place with new players and dealing with living at a hotel. I think he will grow up a lot and it will be good for his future. We explained the reasons and his family agreed.”

Cook has made five substitute appearances for Albion's first team, the last of them 18 months ago.

He will be at Field Mill until January 15 and is expected to make his first league appearance for Mansfield at home to Crawley a week on Saturday.

Ironically, Cook's last league appearance for the Stags is likely to be a trip to Eastbourne Borough on January 8.

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