ANDONI Iraola admits Jaidon Anthony has not had an “easy season” out on loan at Leeds United, but insists: “I am looking forward to working again with him.”

Despite being one of Cherries’ star men in pre-season and featuring regularly early on under Iraola, Anthony was sent out to the Championship on transfer deadline day in September, with Luis Sinisterra coming in the other way.

But the winger has struggled for game-time in Yorkshire, only starting two league matches, the same as he managed for Cherries this term, before his exit.

Anthony has regularly featured off the bench for Leeds, but has been restricted to a bit-part role as Daniel Farke’s men seek promotion.

After just missing out on a spot in the top two, Leeds are now looking to clinch promotion via the play-offs.

They welcome Norwich City to Elland Road this evening in the second leg of their semi-final, with the tie poised after drawing 0-0 at Carrow Road.

The winners will face either Southampton or West Bromwich Albion in the final at Wembley later this month.

Asked if in hindsight Anthony would have likely played more minutes had he stayed at Cherries this season, head coach Iraola told the Daily Echo: “I remember the last day of the market, it was very difficult for Jaidon.

“I wanted to help him, because I think he played quite a lot of minutes with us in the first games.

“He is a player I like a lot. His attitude, how he understands everything we try to tell him.

“I was trying to help him, but I didn’t know exactly what to tell him, because I also knew all the options I had in the wingers.

“It was a difficult decision, for sure, for him. He has also gone to a place where they have very, very good wingers.

“They are making the difference – (Crysencio) Summerville, (Wilfried) Gnonto, (Dan) James. He has strong opposition for minutes.

“But I think he’s a very good player and I am looking forward to working again with him.”

Bournemouth Echo: Jaidon Anthony swapped Cherries for Leeds on deadline day

The 24-year-old has scored two goals and provided two assists across 36 appearances for Leeds.

Asked if Anthony could still have a big role to play in his system, Iraola said: “For sure, I think it hasn’t been an easy season for him.

“He went there thinking he could have more chances and more minutes.

“But he is someone who understands the game well, understands well also how we want to play.

“He trains very well. Attitude wise, you know that it’s a guarantee.

“So I think he is someone that can help every team.

“I am sure even if you ask Daniel Farke now, he will say positive things about Jaidon, I am sure, because he is someone who is always helping the team.”

Asked if he has been in touch with Anthony during the season to discuss his progress, Iraola added: “Normally Shaun (Cooper) and Tommy (Elphick) are the ones who get more in touch with the players, because sometimes it is good we leave some distance.

“Normally players are more honest when they talk to the assistants!

“They can say more of the things that they really feel.

“Normally they are the ones who get more in touch with the players.”