Marvin Elliott says Bristol City are a different team under Sean O'Driscoll
Marvin Elliott insists Bristol City are an altogether different proposition now that Sean O'Driscoll is at the helm.
Bottom of the npower Championship table and widely written off as relegation certainties a month ago, the Robins have undergone a mini-revival since the Midlander was appointed head coach on January 14.
City have won three of their last four games and the talk inside Ashton Gate is of a Houdini-style escape rather than relegation to League One.
Certainly, midfielder Elliott and his team-mates are in a better place to contemplate back-to-back away games against Cardiff and Crystal Palace with something other than fear than they were a month ago.
Dyson DC50i - Bagless upright vacuum cleaner - BALL Technology -...View details
Thisi is Dyson's smallest upright vacuum cleaner with the performance of a full size upright machine. The DC50i has Dyson's most advanced cleaner head technology and 2 Tier RadialTM cyclones.
Terms: LIMITED STOCK OFFER. FREE delivery to most UK postcodes - Next working day dispatch.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
Better organised and harder to beat under O'Driscoll's shrewd stewardship, City are playing with a renewed confidence that suggests either one of the next two games could produce a tale of the unexpected.
Looking ahead to Saturday's Severnside derby against the Championship leaders in the Welsh capital, Elliott warned: "This is a very, very tough game and we are fully aware of that.
"The gaffer talked to us about it immediately after the last game to try and get us focussed on the job in hand.
"But I would like to think Cardiff and Palace will be more worried about us now than they might have been a month ago.
"Confidence is such an important factor. We are now doing things we would not have tried a month ago and they are paying off for us.
"We've already beaten Cardiff at our place and this game does not frighten us. We are playing well at the moment and we are looking forward to the challenge.
"The Championship always throws up strange results and we will go into the next two games believing we can win them."
Far from waving a magic wand, the down-to-earth O'Driscoll has gone back to basics on the training field, preaching a mantra that highlights the importance of hard work, organisation and discipline.
Given that City failed to keep a single clean sheet in 31 outings under previous manager Derek McInnes and have now twice shut out the opposition in three matches under O'Driscoll, suggests the new head coach's message is getting through.
Although Cardiff can be expected to present a sterner test than Nottingham Forest did a week earlier, last Saturday's 2-0 home win has engendered a belief that City, in their current form, can compete with even the best sides in the second tier.
Elliott reflected: "Forest had one good chance in the first half when (Dexter) Blackstock hit the bar but, apart from that, we kept them pretty quiet.
"It's down to organisation and nothing more or less than that. It's not luck and it's no coincidence that the things we work on in the week are starting to come out on a Saturday.
"That is the purpose of training – putting what you practice into action."
Having been seven points adrift of safety and deep in trouble not so long ago, the Robins are now just three points behind fourth-from-bottom Wolves, one of several teams who are fast being dragged into a relegation battle that could go down to the wire.
Elliott stresses: "We still have a lot of work to do, but at least we now have some momentum. The thing now is to keep it going.
"There is a long way to go and we have to keep our form going if we want to drag other sides into it. Hopefully, we can drag a few more teams into it."