CHERRIES have had their blistering run of form recognised by the Football League with boss Eddie Howe and defender Simon Francis shortlisted for monthly awards.
The Dean Court outfit took the Championship by storm during March with six wins and five clean sheets from eight league matches, the run completed with first-half hammerings of Leeds United and Birmingham City.
That fine form prompted league chiefs to nominate Howe, pictured, for the Manager of the Month Award alongside Leicester City’s Nigel Pearson, Sean Dyche of Burnley and Paul Dickov, who has overseen a resurgence at Doncaster Rovers in recent weeks.
If Howe wins, it will be his first award in the second tier and will provide a welcome addition to the League One accolades picked up in December and April last season.
And there could be cause for a double celebration as right-back Francis, ever-present in all competitions this season, has a chance of scooping the Player of the Month gong.
Francis’s form shot to prominence during Cherries’ 4-1 trouncing of Leeds a fortnight ago when he provided the assists for three goals within the first half-an-hour.
Watford striker Troy Deeney, who struck six goals in six league matches during March, has also been put forward alongside Ipswich Town defender Christophe Berra and Queens Park Rangers loan star Ravel Morrison, who netted five times inside last month.
The judging panel for the manager’s award is chaired by former Football League boss Dave Bassett, while ex-Wolves striker Don Goodman plays a part in selecting winners for both categories.