ADAM Smith has admitted he feared he had blundered by signing for Cherries during his tough first full season at Vitality Stadium.

The defender joined from Tottenham in pursuit of regular football in January 2014 but found himself on bench duty until he started the final game of that campaign.

Smith was then largely a spectator as Cherries roared to the Championship title, staring only six league games all season.

But the 26-year-old seized his chance when Simon Francis vacated the right-back slot to shift into the middle of defence.

He became a mainstay of Cherries' debut Premier League campaign, before penning a fresh four-year contract with the club and going on to start 34 top-flight matches last term.

Smith told the Daily Echo: "When I first joined Franno was on fire, so that didn’t really give me an opportunity.

"At times, I did think ‘maybe it wasn’t the right move to come here’. I had to wait patiently but when I got my chance I took it and I haven’t looked back since.

"It's worked out and I'm so glad I have come to this club and that I got my opportunity and managed to grab it."

Smith rates the 2016-17 campaign as the finest of his career. He was placed on standby for England's games with Scotland and Spain last November and starred for a Cherries side that achieved the club's highest league finish.

Inevitably, the Londoner's consistently dynamic displays saw his name included in countless football gossip columns, primarily touting him for a return to Spurs.

Smith has already dismissed that link – and explained how his upturn in fortunes had its roots in masses of training ground work with boss Eddie Howe.

"The gaffer works on a lot of things with me and I do feel I have really improved since I came to the club," said Smith.

"If you are not playing he likes to work with you on the training pitch. I think it is trust as well – he wants to see more of you across a season before giving you your opportunity.

"Then, when he trusts you a bit more, that is when you play more. Things do change in football and that is why you have to appreciate it when you are playing."

There is no danger of Smith taking it easy now he has nailed down his starting spot. Indeed, he has already identified areas of his game that could do with refining.

"Defending is my first job," said Smith. "But I worked on my assists last season, I got five but felt that could have been a lot more.

"I made far more chances for people, though, which was my main objective. I should have had a few more goals as well and next season, hopefully, I can add those to my game.

"Last season was my best one, so far. I wanted to be as consistent as possible and I played nearly every game, so I was happy with how it went.

"But there is still a lot more I can improve on."