Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway convinced Sean O'Driscoll is right man for Bristol City job
Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway is convinced Sean O’Driscoll is the right man to lead Bristol City to safety this season.
Appointed head coach following the dismissal of Derek McInnes in January, the former Doncaster Rovers and Nottingham Forest manager has been handed a short-term brief to keep the Robins in the npower Championship.
And Holloway, who has crossed swords with the 55-year-old Midlander on numerous occasions in the English second tier, reckons he is the ideal choice to lead a revival in fortunes at Ashton Gate.
Speaking in the aftermath of Tuesday night’s Championship clash between Palace and City at Selhurst Park, the Bristolian told The Post: “I do think they (Bristol City) can get out of it.
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“There have been some changes, but I think they have the right man in charge and they have to just stick together.
“Sean is a fantastic manager and is a student of the game. He was sought after at Doncaster and decided to stay and his chairman only made a change after he had stopped investing in the team.
“I think Sean’s teams play football and he teaches people to do that. He makes sure they understand their jobs.
“Sean has got what Bristol City need. He brings safety and security to people and he brings a knowledge of what he wants you to do and says it in a simple way.
“He always lifts the level of the players, no matter what the club, and makes them play better. I think he has already done that at City.”
Although the Robins are bottom of the table and desperate to escape the relegation zone, Holloway insists the club’s supporters must be patient and appreciate the bigger picture.
He commented: “It is a club that wants things so badly, but you cannot just expect it, you have to work towards it.
“With the Academy set-up and the people in charge, they are heading in the right direction. People just have to be patient.
“It is all about getting together. It is all there and they only have to believe in one another for it to come right. You have to look at it over a long period and I’m sure the group will do that.”
Beaten 4-1 at Ashton Gate earlier in the season, Palace exacted revenge thanks to goals from top-scorer Glenn Murray and substitute Stephen Dobbie, who secured a 2-1 win in south London.
But City caused the promotion contenders problems and Holloway admitted he was relieved to take all three points.
The former Bristol Rovers star said: “I thought it was a very spirited effort by Bristol City. I watched them the other week when they started off slowly against Nottingham Forest and then got bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger as the game went on and dominated the second half.
“They played as well as that against us but, in the end, the quality of the free kicks we took proved the difference.
“I knew it would be a tough fixture, because Sean has got them organised and they know what they are doing and what he wants. Playing City was a very slippery banana skin for me.
“One or two of our stars were not quite at it and I had to take them off, but that is because they were not allowed to play.
“Sean changed the shape and they did a job on us. I thought they would have three at the back and they did not. He went with four at the back and stopped our wide men from being as effective as they usually are.”