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First team

No more sleepless nights for Adam Smith


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth defender Adam Smith revealed he was having sleepless nights ahead of Tuesday’s promotion-clinching win over Nottingham Forest.

Speaking to BBC Radio Solent ahead of the final day visit of Millwall to Vitality Stadium, Smith admitted that he had felt nervous for massive Sky Bet Championship clash, knowing that result was potentially promotion-defining for both teams.

He recalled: “I was struggling to sleep for a few nights, some of the other lads were struggling too, so it was a relief to get over the line.

“I was trying anything; I was going for walks in the afternoon trying to switch off but I felt I was constantly thinking about it.

“It was a little bit frustrating, but I’d rather be in that position than in mid-table with nothing to play for.

“As soon as it came to the day, adrenaline kicks in and you get in the zone. As soon as you get on the pitch, you don’t think of anything.”

The defender, who has made 305 appearances for the Cherries, started the game playing as the right-sided centre-back, having already played as full-back on both sides in the season so far.

Smith felt he grew into the game: “It was a difficult first half, I was playing at right centre-half so it took me a good 20 minutes to adjust to it, Surridge was getting in behind a few times. It’s not normally a position I’ve played in.

“After that, we controlled and especially in the second half, we battered them. I looked at their faces in the 60th minute and I could tell they were gone, I think that’s down to how fit we are physically and tactically we had a game plan that was perfect really.”

The winning moment came in the 82nd minute as Philip Billing lined up to take a free-kick on the edge of the box. With the stadium expecting him to fire at goal, he unselfishly squared for Kieffer Moore, who slotted his effort into the bottom corner.

“I honestly thought Phil was going to absolutely smash it, I don’t think anyone in the stadium knew what he was going to do, other than him and Kieffer.

“Honestly, when that goal went it, it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. It was amazing.

“I went mental towards the bench, Lewis Cook and I. We were too far back to join the celebrations, so we just went mental.

“The gaffer played the video of the goal this morning with Kris Temple’s commentary which was quite hilarious, he played it a few times and it was good to watch it back.”

The Cherries welcome Millwall to Vitality Stadium tomorrow and will be hoping to wrap up the season in positive fashion.

Audio passes for the game are available for £2.50 on afcbTV Live, while overseas supporters can watch the game for £10.

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