Adam Smith has spoken of his delight after coming through yesterday’s pre-season friendly unscathed.
A quad injury had previously kept the 26-year-old sidelined but he was able to record his first minutes of the new campaign against Valencia on Sunday.
A superb strike from Fabian Orellana granted Los Che the victory, but for Smith it was all about the gametime and returning to full fitness ahead of the new Premier League season.
“It was obviously frustrating to get injured for a few weeks but I’m happy that I’ve come back, trained for a few days and played in this game,” said the defender.
“The doctors have checked me and everything’s fine so now I’ve got to focus on getting fitter and make sure I’m ready for the next game.
“Valencia are a great side, they’ve got a lot of individual talent but I think it was a good test for the lads.
“I think they play very similar to us and we can take a lot of positives from the game, especially the first-half.
“You like to win, that’s what you go out there for, but I think we performed well and it got everyone else’s fitness up as well.
“I’ve come out injury free so now I’ve just got to work hard for the start of the season.”
Smith also spoke of the new faces on display at Vitality Stadium, with Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake, Connor Mahoney and Jermain Defoe all making their home debuts since signing in the summer.
“I think Connor is a very good talent,” explained Smith.
“It’s difficult to come into Bournemouth and know the style that we play so I think he performed very well today and there’s a lot more to come.
“As for Nathan, he was with us last season so knows how we play. It’s nothing different for him and he’s slotted in very easily.”
The Cherries will next take to the stage against Yeovil Town on Wednesday evening, with Napoli the visitors on Sunday in the final pre-season test before Eddie Howe’s side commence their third successive Premier League season.