Bristol City boss Sean O'Driscoll warns his players to beware Rory Delap long-throw threat
Bristol City head coach Sean O’Driscoll has warned his players to beware the threat posed by long-throw specialist Rory Delap.
The midfielder made a name for himself at Stoke City, using his trademark throw-ins to create numerous goals in the Premier League.
Now with Barnsley, Delap can be expected to test Bristol City’s defence in Saturday’s npower Championship relegation scrap at Ashton Gate.
Given that City have developed a worrying habit of conceding goals from set-pieces and were undone by a long throw from Cardiff’s Aron Gunnarsson only last Saturday, O’Driscoll has reminded his players to heed the threat posed by Delap.
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He said: “Rory Delap is someone we are aware of and we all know how effective he was for Stoke.
“I used to play alongside Tony Pulis (Stoke manager) at Bournemouth and he worked out that, the more times you get the ball into the box, the more opportunities you will have to score.
“Stoke frequently put the ball into the penalty area a third more than other teams and have profited from doing it.
“It does not matter how you get the ball into the box – if you have a team as big as Stoke are, you are going to gets goals from doing it.”
He added: “Barnsley are different because they are much more fluid in their play and their players have more flexibility.
“But any team that has Rory Delap in it is going to use his ability to throw the ball long. I’m not saying he has to do it all of the time, but it is an option for them to have and they will use it as and when.”
Concerned by the number of goals his side is conceding at set-piece routines, O’Driscoll has spent a good deal of time attempting to rectify the problem on the training ground this week.
He added: “If you look at every game played in the Championship the same things happen which determine what the score-line will be.
“We have conceded four goals in two games and three of them have come from set-pieces. That tells its own story.
“That is important when you are deciding where to target your players’ energies. When you look at it in the cold light of day, those are the things we need to concentrate on.
“We cannot really add anything to that, because it distracts people’s focus from where it should be.”