HEAD COACH Jonathan Woodgate insisted he was relishing the responsibility of leading Cherries into the play-offs and said: “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t like pressure.”

The Cherries boss has piloted his team to 12 wins from 21 games since taking over from Jason Tindall in February – his current deal at Vitality Stadium runs until the end of the season.

Woodgate’s side are set to host Brentford in the Championship play-off semi-final first leg on Monday, with the Dorset club potentially three games away from returning to the top flight.

Asked how the pressure of management compared to featuring in big games as a player, former Leeds and Real Madrid defender Woodgate said: “This is huge and when you are the manager, the buck stops with you.

“You are the one who puts the tactics together and looks to implement the game plan on to the opposition.

“It’s a pressure that I like, It’s a pressure I really enjoy. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t like pressure.

“I am really looking forward to the game and I am enjoying the pressure.

“I think the pressures are totally different from being a manager to being a player. It’s a totally different ball game.”

Woodgate guided Cherries to a sixth-place finish in the Championship table, a position which set up a clash against Thomas Frank’s third-placed Bees.

“It was the objective to be honest,” when asked about reaching the play-offs.

“We did that with seven points to spare and with basically three games to go.

“Now, this is the one we want to win, this is our next step, this is what we want to do and if we do it, it will be absolutely fantastic.

“When I came in the building, I just came in as a coach. I didn’t expect to be manager after two days.

“It has been a very difficult situation to be honest with you, but it’s something I’ve relished, I’ve enjoyed at times and it’s been really, really, hectic.

“You don’t really get chance to breathe in this game when you are a manager of a football club.

“But listen, I enjoy doing it. I really do and we find ourselves in the play-offs in a good position.”