Jon Lansdown says Sean O'Driscoll faces tough balancing act at Bristol City
Jon Lansdown insists Sean O'Driscoll offers Bristol City their best chance of staying in the Championship without compromising their principles.
City's board of directors recently went public on a new recruitment strategy designed to curb the excessive spending that has saddled the club with debts of £41m.
But set against the long-term need to cut costs is the urgent necessity to stay in the npower Championship this season.
City are rock-bottom of the table, six points adrift of safety and O'Driscoll has 20 games in which to stave off the threat of relegation.
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That requires a careful balancing act and, in the circumstances, managing director of football, Lansdown, and his fellow directors feel the former Doncaster Rovers and Nottingham Forest boss is the man best-qualified to get them out of trouble without breaking the bank.
While O'Driscoll will be given some scope to make permanent signings during the January transfer window and recruit in the loan market thereafter, City's board will be hoping his man-management skills will bring the best out of players who have under-achieved this season.
Lansdown told The Post: "We have always got the long-term in mind with any appointment we make at the football club.
"But we are also looking to stay up this season and it is a balancing act.
"We're not going to gamble everything we stand for in search of a quick fix, because you never know if it is going to work or not.
"You have to bear what follows in mind as well and I think Sean is the man who can give us the best of both worlds.
"He is known for getting the best out of players and has a different approach to most. We have some good players here and, hopefully, a different approach will yield better results.
"I'm not saying he won't add to what he already has here, but some of the players can perform better than they have been."
Aware that O'Driscoll was in talks with Championship rivals Blackpool regarding the managerial vacancy at Bloomfield Road, Lansdown had to act quickly once the decision had been taken to part company with Derek McInnes following Saturday's 4-0 home defeat to Leicester.
Having made a short-list of three when City were seeking a successor to Keith Millen 15 months ago, O'Driscoll was certainly well known to board members at Ashton Gate.
Lansdown confirmed: "Sean is someone we know from the past and someone we had spoken to at length previously. He was the only one that came to mind and the one we contacted.
"We knew he had an admiration for the football club and felt we could get him. I phoned Sean late on Saturday night and had a very short conversation in which he asked to come and see us the following morning.
"Keith Dawe (chairman) and I met with Sean on Sunday morning, had a three or four hour discussion and then let him think about things on the drive back home to the Midlands.
"He phoned me back later in the evening to say he wanted to join us and I was delighted."
McInnes could easily have been dismissed following a club-record-equalling seven match losing streak in October and November, but the board elected to back him then.
But the manner of Saturday's performance against Leicester, coupled with previous defeats to Millwall and Blackburn Rovers, convinced Lansdown and his fellow directors that the time had come to relieve McInnes of his duties.
Lansdown revealed: "After the final whistle, we took time to reflect and then called a meeting of Bristol Sport directors to assess where we stood as a club.
"We didn't expect to be making that decision when we turned up on Saturday. But the manner of the defeat, coupled with the two before, left us no choice.
"It was a long discussion and the decision to part company with Derek was taken with a heavy heart.
"As a board, there is only one way you can really have a big influence and it is not as though we can give a manager time off like we can a player. It is all or nothing and, as a collective, we decided the best thing to do was to act as we did."