JONATHAN Woodgate insists Cherries will head into the Championship play-off semi-finals against Brentford as "underdogs", adding: "They’re the favourites to go up, to be honest."

Following a run of three straight defeats to end the season, including a 2-0 home reverse against Stoke City on Saturday, Cherries ended the season in sixth position in the table.

In contract, Brentford finished third, 10 points ahead of Cherries after a run of four straight victories to round off the regulation league campaign.

The Bees also did the double over Cherries during the season, winning 2-1 in west London in December, before defeating Woodgate's charges 1-0 last month, despite playing much of the game with 10 men.

Brentford have been challenging for promotion all season, and also narrowly missed out under Thomas Frank during the 2019-20 campaign, losing in the play-off final to Fulham.

And Woodgate says nobody will be expecting his Cherries side to triumph over two legs, with the first of those set to take place at Vitality Stadium on May 17, before the return fixture on May 22.

The winners would then face either Barnsley or Swansea City in the play-off final at Wembley on May 29.

Discussing the tie with Brentford, boss Woodgate said: "We’ve got a really tough game against Brentford. 

"We’ll be the underdogs against them. It’s all on them. 

"They’re the favourites to go up to be honest with you. They’ll be the favourites for our game, but we’ll look to go there and give it our best shot, implement a game plan and try and get the win.

"It’s massive. It’s massive for the football club. There’s no getting away from that.

"Massive for the players, massive for the coaching team, myself. It’s a big time for the football club."

He added: "There’s a lot of pressure on Brentford as well because they lost (in the play-offs) last season. But they’ve been there or thereabouts. 

"I think Thomas Frank’s done a magnificent job with Brentford. 

"They’re going to be the favourites. Everyone will expect Brentford to win the game. We’ll be the underdogs and we’ll look to go and try and win the game."

Asked if he relishes the underdogs tag, Woodgate said: "I don’t mind to be honest! 

"Being the favourites or underdogs, it doesn’t really matter to me."