Bristol City head coach Sean O'Driscoll "not afraid" to play youngsters
Sean O'Driscoll insists Bristol City's position at the foot of the Championship table will not deter him from giving youth a chance between now and the end of the season.
Although the new head coach's stated priority is to keep the Robins up, he is also committed to developing emerging players from the club's Academy and Under-21 set-up.
And his record at Bournemouth, Doncaster and Nottingham Forests suggests he will prove as good as his word now he is at Ashton Gate.
Previous manager Derek McInnes began the process of fast-tracking youngsters and teenagers Joe Bryan, Bobby Reid and Wes Burns have all featured in the first team this season.
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Charged with the task of introducing a strategy that is sustainable for the future, City's board of directors are encouraging the head coach to work with young players whose value will increase as time goes on.
O'Driscoll said: "You only have value in the future if young players come into an environment in which they can develop.
"If there is no development going on, then you might as well get rid of it (the Academy). If you are serious about developing, then the only way to develop is to play them.
"But are you going to play them if you are thinking 'if I don't win on Saturday. I'm going to lose my job'?
"Therein lies the danger. Development is great up to a point, but if you come to the point where you need to go into the team and the person in charge cannot do it because his neck is on the block, then you have a problem.
That is a difficulty from a manager's point of view, but I think I've always been brave enough to play players if I think they are good enough.
"You have to be brave enough to create something that encourages young players to go into the first team and understand that they can do well."