CHERRIES veteran Adam Smith did not know he was back in Andoni Iraola’s initial 11 for the victory away at Sheffield United.

Smith played the full 90 minutes as a Marcus Tavernier double led the way for Cherries up north, the winger’s efforts sandwiching Justin Kluivert’s strike on the stroke of half time during the 3-1 win.

Tavernier’s second stemmed from Smith’s pinpoint delivery on the right wing.

Despite the hamstring injury suffered to Max Aarons’ in the victory over Newcastle prior to the international break, Smith was still in the dark in the build up to kick off whether he would be starting or not.

That is because head coach Iraola only reveals his starting XI at the latest possible moment, when team sheets have to be handed in and hour and half before kick-off.

“No I didn’t know I was starting, of course not!” joked Smith to the Daily Echo when asked if he knew he was set to start.

“An hour and a half before kick off,” Smith revealed when asked when he found out he would be playing.

“Always (I prepare as if I’m starting), every game.”

Although just his second start of the Premier League season, Smith has racked up enough appearances in all competitions this term to reach the milestone of 350 games for Cherries.

An initial loan spell from Tottenham Hotspur during the 2010-11 was followed by a permanent transfer in January 2014, meaning the Cherries stalwart is soon approaching 10 years on the south coast.

Asked for the secret behind his longevity, Smith responded: “It’s a combination of stuff to be honest.

"Being professional every day, working hard, being a good character around the place.

“Good lad around the change room, looking after yourself outside of football, just a combination of everything, to be honest.”

The comfortable victory away in Yorkshire was in stark contrast to Smith’s last start in the top flight, the 3-0 defeat away at Everton in October.

“We just started better than we did against Everton,” continued Smith.

“Once you start well it's easier to make chances and score some goals and that's what we've done.

“Should have scored more. Should have been four or five-nil. And then obviously to not keep the clean sheet is a little frustrating for us defenders and the keeper.

“I think we should have scored more, if I’m honest.”

“It’s good that we’re having them chances. It’d be worrying if you didn’t have that many chances.

“Just to clean up and be a bit more ruthless, especially against, no disrespect, the better teams.”