BOSS Jonathan Woodgate revealed an impromptu chat with in-form Philip Billing helped lead to Cherries’ opening the scoring at Blackburn.

The Cherries head coach had a one-to-one conversation with the midfielder during the first half at Ewood Park, while Rovers’ Joe Rothwell was down receiving treatment.

Five minutes after Rothwell was taken off, Billing opportunistically pounced when the ball fell to him in the box to give Cherries a 1-0 advantage.

Arnaut Danjuma slotted home a second 15 minutes from time to help earn Woodgate’s side all three points.

Asked what he said to Billing shortly before the opener, Woodgate told the Daily Echo: “Get a bit higher up the pitch and try and affect them.

“He’s playing well. He’s producing week in, week out.

“Okay at times he wants more of the ball, but sometimes you can’t have the ball. Sometimes you’ve got to do the dirty side of the game. He’s learning that as well.”

Since being thrust into a more advanced role under Woodgate, Billing has scored five times in 13 games.

His record before the head coach took charge was four goals in 57 appearances.

“The thing is with Phil, he makes the box and he gets in the box,” said the Cherries boss.

“And when he gets in the box, he’s got good technique. He’s going to stroke the ball in the back of the net, he’s not a blaster.

“He just takes his time with it and he’s cool, he’s composed and he hits the back of the net.

“Fair play to Phil, he’s played in a higher, advanced role and think he thrives in that area, I really do.”

Defender Lloyd Kelly also believes the towering Dane is reaping the rewards from playing in a more advanced role.

Speaking about Billing, the Cherries centre-back said: “I think he’s always had that ability to score goals and playing higher up the pitch he’s able to make the box a lot more.

“I guess that’s benefited him, playing a little bit higher up and he’s got the goals that he deserves.”

Cherries are set to host Coventry City in the Championship on Saturday, before an away fixture at Billing’s former club Huddersfield Town next Tuesday.

Billing joined Cherries from the Terriers for £15million in July 2019.