The pressure is on Sean O’Driscoll as Bristol City slipped to another home defeat and back into the relegation zone this weekend.
The 1-0 loss at home to Sheffield United means that the Robins have won just two out of seventeen games this season, but vice chairman Jon Lansdown will seemingly not yield to fan requests to sack O’Driscoll.
Brought to the club in January in order to stabilise the club, O’Driscoll has been making the best of what he has. Denied the funds given to previous managers, O’Driscoll has been tasked with slashing the wage budget while still remaining competitive.
Having finally rid the squad of the overpaid underachievers that were so dominant in the Championship years, O’Driscoll is attempting to mould a squad of young players into a team that plays the free-flowing football he is so renowned for in the lower leagues.
The stats don’t lie, either. O’Driscoll has significant experience of the league, gaining promotion twice before. During the first promotion with Bournemouth, O’Driscoll was forced to manage on limited financial resources – something he is being asked to do currently at Bristol City as costs are cut across the board.
At Doncaster, O’Driscoll was tasked with leading the team to promotion to the Championship after he had impressed the club’s hierarchy with his management of Bournemouth on a shoestring budget.
He achieved this in his second season – something City should take note of. His first season in charge saw a mediocre league finish, with the highlight being the Football League Trophy win at the Millennium Stadium. It was the second season where O’Driscoll impressed. Having been given the time to create his own team, Doncaster swept all aside as they won the division, with O’Driscoll gaining plaudits far and wide for his attractive, attacking football.
Though results are not good for the Robins at the moment, the performances have not been terrible. The defence have been respectable and conceding goals has not been the problem, rather the manner in which they are conceded.
There have been several instances of calamitous defending at Ashton Gate this season and this is something that can’t be blamed on O’Driscoll, rather the players’ inability to stay concentrated for the full 90 minutes.
City are now second bottom, and a minority of fans are calling for him to be sacked. However, sticking to the strategy would be the best thing to do for Lansdown. Aside from the huge pay-off that comes with sacking a manager, there aren’t many better options out there.
Though things don’t currently look too rosy for the Robins, O’Driscoll has a magnificent record of always leaving clubs in a better position than they were in before he arrived. Give O’Driscoll time and Bristol City will be back into the Championship in a style that the fans will adore.