HEAD coach Jonathan Woodgate admitted he had learned “unbelievable lessons” over the past 11 months – as he looks to guide Cherries back to the Premier League.

The former England defender was sacked as boss of his hometown club Middlesbrough last June and replaced by Neil Warnock, with Boro immersed in a relegation battle.

Fast forward almost a year and, having replaced sacked manager Jason Tindall at Cherries back in February, the Nunthorpe-born coach has piloted the Dorset outfit to a Championship play-off place.

An impressive return of six wins out of seven saw Woodgate nominated for April’s manager of the month award.

He joins the likes of Lee Bowyer, Xisco Munoz and Mark Robins on the shortlist with the winner set to be announced tomorrow.

But reflecting on what has been a whirlwind period on his coaching journey, Woodgate insisted he always believed in himself.

He said: “Unbelievable lessons but, I tell you what, it can change quick.

“It just shows as a young manager, don’t give up.

“Sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan but you keep on believing in what you’re doing and what you can do and you will get a chance.

“Okay, at times you do need a little bit of luck to be in the right place at the right time but also you’ve got to make your own luck.

“Going out of your comfort zone and doing something that maybe was a bit different than you were going to do – keep on learning and you never know.”

Woodgate arrived at Vitality Stadium as a first-team coach under former boss Tindall, replacing Graeme Jones, who had left to join Newcastle.

Three days later, following a defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at Vitality Stadium, Tindall was dismissed with Woodgate stepping into the hotseat on an interim basis.

His performance prompted Cherries’ board to offer him a contract as head coach until the end of the season.

“I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time,” admitted the former Newcastle and Real Madrid defender.

“I didn’t enjoy it one little bit at the start – I thought it was a very difficult situation to do.

“But yeah, keep on believing what you are doing and sometimes you might get that little bit of luck.”

The manager of the month judging panel includes former Barnsley manager Danny Wilson, EFL expert Don Goodman, EFL communications director Mark Rowan and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.