CHERRIES head coach Andoni Iraola believes right-backs Max Aarons and Adam Smith have “a good relationship”, the Basque boss detailing the dynamic between the two positional rivals.

Aarons joined Cherries on the eve of the Premier League season for an initial fee of a reported £7million from Norwich City, the highly rated defender becoming first choice ahead of stalwart Smith.

And whilst Smith has been limited to just one start in the Premier League this term, Iraola believes there is “really healthy competition” at right back.

Iraola told the Daily Echo: “Adam has been pushing a lot. He played against Liverpool and Everton.

“He has a really healthy competition with Max, because I think especially Max is learning a lot from Adam, the one with more experience.

“I am really happy with what he is giving us on and off the pitch.”

With Smith’s on the pitch contributions limited this term, Iraola went on to explain the veteran’s efforts in and around the training ground.

“He is pushing,” continued the former Mirandes boss.

“Every training he is trying to help. Whenever he has started, he’s pushed.

“Whenever he doesn’t, he has pushed the same.

“Whenever we need him to end a couple of games where he has been replacing Max, he has done it really well.

“I think it is a good competition, because I also feel that between them, they have a good relationship, Adam and Max.”

Frozen out at Norwich, Aarons hit the ground running on the south coast despite spending pre-season away from first team training.

“I think Max is performing really well, since day one,” added Iraola.

“He came last minute, was straight in the starting XI and he is fighting for his position.

“Also with Adam Smith he has the opposition, the competition and I think both are training well. I think it’s a position we have covered.

“I think both of them are different. But I am really happy, because Max has come and immediately he is performing really well and Adam Smith is always a guarantee.”

Iraola, himself a right-back during his playing days with Athletic Club, was asked how he felt he compared to his young charge.

“I think he is physically much better than what I was,” he restarted.

“I played full-back but it wasn’t really my characteristics.

“They were not to play full-back. Maybe I would survive and I would do even better nowadays, with inverted full-backs and you can play more inside.

“I loved to attack from the inside when I was playing as a full-back.

“In those days, no teams played with inverted full-backs.

“I tried to do it by myself, because I ended my career playing in the middle, so I think I was more this type of full-back.

“But probably the timing was not good for me."