ADAM Smith revealed his respect towards former team-mate Christian Atsu and insisted: “He is a talented player.”

The Cherries full-back could come up against the Ghanaian winger when Eddie Howe’s men make the trip to St James’ Park on Saturday (3pm).

Atsu spent the first half of the 2015-16 season on loan to Cherries from Chelsea but did not feature in the Premier League.

Troubled by injuries, the former Rio Ave and Porto man was restricted to two appearances in the League Cup, starting in away ties at Hartlepool and Preston.

He has since gone on to make 106 appearances for Newcastle, having played nine times in the top flight this season.

Having trained and played alongside Atsu during the winger’s time in Dorset, full-back Smith knows all about his capabilities.

He told the Daily Echo: “Christian Atsu is a good player you need to watch out for. I trained with him and played with him. He is a talented player.

“He didn’t play a lot but you could see he had ability. He was a quick player. It just didn’t really work out for him here.

“But when he went up there he seemed to be a bit more confident and has been a bit more involved, he is more of a threat.”

Cherries go into the contest off the back of a 1-0 success over Manchester United last Saturday.

Newcastle have 12 points from 11 top-flight games this season under boss Steve Bruce.

Goals from Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Jonjo Shelvey earned them a 3-2 success over West Ham last time out.

Smith added: “We can’t just get carried away because we beat Manchester United. We have to be more consistent.

“Last season we would get a good result and the following week we would lose.

“I don’t think we will get carried away, we will work even harder and we know going up to St James’ Park is going to be a tough game. It always is.

“They play five at the back so, similar to Watford, they are going to be hard to break down. It’s harder to get in behind.

“We might have more of the ball but we need to be patient in breaking them down.

“They have some attacking players with a bit of pace as well – again coming up against fast wingers. When you go to that stadium and the crowd is behind them, it’s a very difficult game.”

Cherries will be without midfielder Jefferson Lerma, who is banned after picking up his fifth league booking against the Red Devils.

But with Lewis Cook and Dan Gosling back waiting in the wings, Smith believes the Dorset club can cover for the Colombian.

“Jeff is a good player and it is going to be a big miss. He gives us that little bit of edge in midfield and is always playing on that line,” he added.

“But we have Lewis Cook there and Goso is back now. We have great strength in depth.

“There is nothing to worry about. We have great players to come in they know how to play. It won’t affect us in any way.”