DETERMINED Cherries defender Adam Smith insists regular game time is a must as he seeks to eradicate the memory of his season on the sidelines.

The 23-year-old, a £250,000 signing from Tottenham Hotspur in January, arrived at Cherries on the back of a stop-start campaign in which his season-long loan to Derby County from Spurs was cut short in November.

Having not played league football for three months, Smith was restricted to four substitute appearances and a solitary start on the final day at Millwall.

But with his desire for Premier League football still burning, the former England under-21 international has vowed to make up for lost time by indelibly marking his name on boss Eddie Howe's team sheet.

Smith told the Daily Echo: “This is a very important season for me. I need to be playing because I’m not getting any younger and my aim is still to get into the Premier League.

“With what I have shown before, I believe I am very capable of getting there but I need a good season of pure games and that’s what I’m looking to do.

“The only way you’re going to improve is by playing and last season was really frustrating for me, I didn’t get as many games as I would have liked.

“When I went to Derby, I didn’t start straight away because I didn’t have much of a pre-season with Tottenham. It took me a good few games to get fit and then Nigel Clough got sacked.

“I made a big decision to leave Spurs and I was hoping to get in the (Cherries) team after a few weeks but Franno (Simon Francis) and the rest of the squad were doing so well so it was hard.

“I don’t really want to look back at last season too much, I have to look forward now and being settled at one club is going to help me.

“It’s nice to know where I’ll be and that’s why I chose to settle in Bournemouth. It was important to stop travelling the country and living out of the back of my car.

“Last season has been forgotten now, and everyone has to fight to hold on to their position and I will be doing everything I can to earn a place."

  • Cherries are due to take on Conference Premier side Eastleigh in their second pre-season friendly this evening (7.45pm).

The Silverlake Stadium clash will be Cherries’ first friendly on British soil in 2014-15.