Bristol City players know what is expected of them on the pitch – Sean O'Driscoll
SEAN O'Driscoll says Bristol City's players have bought into his methods completely in the four weeks he has been in charge.
Appointed only last month, O'Driscoll has already presided over a notable upturn in fortunes, the Robins winning three out of five games under the new head coach to move off the foot of the table and give themselves a fighting chance of retaining their Championship status.
But the former Nottingham Forest manager refuses to take all the credit, insisting the players have made his job easier.
One of O'Driscoll's first acts after arriving at Ashton Gate was to seek the opinion of his first team squad. And his decision to involve them in the decision-making process has proved a master-stroke.
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A majority of players questioned, identified a lack of organisation as the single biggest cause of poor performances and results under former manager Derek McInnes.
O'Driscoll has taken on board the views of his players with almost immediate results, the Robins winning successive home games against Ipswich, Watford and Nottingham Forest to move to within three points of safety.
O'Driscoll recalled: "The first thing I did was to sit down with the players and ask them to tell me what they thought they needed. They told me they needed organising.
"I don't want to be disrespectful to Derek, because they liked him and he had some really good ideas. But they lacked a little bit of organisation.
"There is no point asking the players if you are not going to do something about it, because they have a vested interest in trying to get better.
"Hopefully, they respect the fact you have asked them for their opinion and, by doing things that way, you get a complete buy-in.
"No-one can moan about it because they are the ones who have told me 'this is what we need'. They have identified the problem, we have worked together to try and solve it and that is why things have improved so quickly."
O'Driscoll's organisational skills have contributed mightily to improved performance in all five games since his appointment and the team is now playing with a level of confidence not seen in many months.
"We've talked long and hard about being organised as a team and, first and foremost, that is what we have tried to do," reasoned O'Driscoll.
"They have done it for five games now and they could have got a result in all five games. One or two things let us down at Blackburn and we have lost five players to injury but, overall, they have performed really well as a squad.
"I thought they were excellent against a Forest team that should have beaten us because of the quality they have. I thought we functioned really well and stuck to a game-plan."