NATHAN Ake believes a run of games for Diego Rico was “exactly what he needed” to show his class at Cherries.

Brought in from Leganes for £10.7million in July 2018, the Spanish full-back has not missed a minute of the Dorset club’s past seven league fixtures.

He impressed to keep quiet pacey wideman Dan James on Saturday, as Eddie Howe’s men sealed a 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Vitality Stadium.

Asked about Rico, Ake told the Daily Echo: “He has done really well. Especially on Saturday against a tricky player, a quick player.

“He was very good, so tight to him and didn’t give him any space.”

He added: “I think he has done really well this season.

“You can see every game he is getting more confidence with the way he plays.

“I think that’s exactly what he needed - just a run of games and now he is showing what he can do.

“He has got such a good delivery from crosses but also corners, free-kicks and all sorts. His delivery is very good.”

Former Real Zaragoza star Rico has recorded two assists for Cherries this season in games against Everton and Southampton.

Speaking about the full-back, boss Howe added: “He is a player that every experience he is getting at the moment is hugely beneficial.

“The league is still relatively quite new for him.

“But I am certainly very pleased with his progress.”