DETERMINED Lloyd Kelly insisted Cherries had not lost momentum as they prepare themselves for the destiny-defining Championship play-offs.

Jonathan Woodgate’s men booked their place in the end-of-season shootout after seven straight league wins between March and April.

But having lost their past three encounters, the Dorset club finished in sixth spot in the table to set up a tricky two-legged tie against third-placed Brentford.

The sides will do battle at Vitality Stadium on Monday, before facing off at Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday, May 22.

Kelly returned to the side for Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Stoke following an ankle injury, but is not concerned Cherries may have lost the head of steam they had built up.

He told the Daily Echo: “I don’t think the momentum has been lost. No-one in the changing room is scared of that thought.

“We know what we can do and we know the game on Saturday wasn’t at where we should be and can play at, shown in the run that we did go on, the intensity that we played at and the football that we played.

“So, I think it’s just going away over the next week and getting together our game plan for the two legs.”

Brentford have beaten Cherries twice in the league this season. Kelly played 90 minutes in a 2-1 defeat in west London back in December.

He did not feature when Thomas Frank’s Bees triumphed 1-0 in Dorset last month, despite being down to 10 men for 40 minutes of the contest.

Brentford have not lost in their past 12 games and won four on the spin to finish their campaign.

Asked what Cherries needed to do differently to stop the Bees, Kelly replied: “I think going back to how we play, our intensity that we play at, play on the front foot.

“We want to play exciting football, we want to get in teams’ faces and not let them get momentum in the game.

“And I’m pretty sure that will be the gaffer’s game plan going into the two legs, being on the front foot and not letting them play, because everyone knows Brentford can play football.

“They’re an exciting team with a lot of forward-thinking players, so it’s just going away over the next week and coming up with the game plan for those games.”

Kelly signed for Cherries from Bristol City for £13million under Eddie Howe in May 2019. He made eight Premier League appearances in an injury-hit first season at the club.

Asked how much he wanted to get back to England’s elite level, the England under-21 international replied: “Not only me, but everyone in the changing room wants to get back to the Premier League. That’s everyone’s first thought.

“So everyone is going to be on the same page, which is good and hopefully we can make the games right and push into the final and obviously make the step back up into the Premier League.

“But everyone knows it’s going to be tough, especially over the two legs in the semi-final, we know it’s going to be tough. But we’ll do everything we can to progress.”

Should Cherries reach the final, they would face either Swansea or Barnsley for a place in the Premier League.