JONATHAN Woodgate admitted he was "proud" to be named the Championship manager of the month, but insists an "exceptional group" at Cherries were the key factor to the club's recent uptick in form.

Woodgate guided the club to six wins from seven last month, a run which sealed them a spot in the end of season play-offs.

Former Middlesbrough boss Woodgate began the winning run with a victory over his old club Boro on Good Friday, before successes against Blackburn, Coventry, Huddersfield, Norwich and Millwall.

Their month ended with a narrow loss to Brentford.    

Upon winning the award, Woodgate said: “I’m proud to be the recipient of this award but this is a collective effort and should go to all of my staff.

“I cannot thank them enough for the support they have given me since I arrived at the club, and we have worked tirelessly together to secure our place in the play-offs.

“We had some good performances over the month and some in which we had to dig deep and grind out the results, but the players showed great character and rose to the challenge every week.

“Seven consecutive wins is tough at any level, and the squad should be incredibly proud of that achievement.”

He added: "We’ve done well, but it’s not just me. It’s everyone behind the scenes at the football club who really put the effort in. 

"You don’t always see the hard yards of what everyone puts in, you only see me really right at the front. But it’s more about, not just my staff personally, the whole football club and what they do.

"It’s an exceptional group. They’ve welcomed me, they’ve made my job a lot easier. But it is a good achievement, the players have done fantastically well."

Woodgate has been in charge for three months, since taking the reins initially on an interim basis in February.

He has won 12 of his 20 matches at the helm, ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Stoke City (12.30pm), the final match before the play-offs.

"I’ve really enjoyed my time here," said Woodgate. 

"We’ve done okay at the minute, we’re in the last little bit now. Hopefully we beat Stoke and then we’ve got, hopefully, three games in the play-offs. If it all goes to plan, then it will be job complete. But it’s a long way to go.

"I’m happy, but it’s not me, it’s the staff behind me. Everything you don’t always see – the chefs, the sports scientists, the press, the medical, the analysts – you don’t see the hard work that they all put in. I’m just the person at the front of house having to face the media each day and making decisions.

"But they help me enormously, so it’s full credit to them. I don’t like to pat myself on the back, I’d rather pat other people on the back, so it’s well played to them. This game is all about a team. It’s a team sport. It’s not individuals. I’m the first to say that, I’m thankful for the staff I’ve got at the football club."

Sky Sports EFL pundit Don Goodman, who was part of the judging panel for the award, said: “Prior to running into Brentford at the end of the month, Bournemouth’s April had been perfect. 

“If the Cherries end up returning to the top flight, fans will look back fondly on their April form being pivotal to their success, with Jonathan Woodgate’s tactical tweaks reaping rewards.”

Woodgate saw off competition from Watford's Xisco Munoz, Birmingham boss Lee Bowyer and Coventry manager Mark Robins to win the award.