PREVIEW: Bristol City vs Barnsley
STEPHEN Pearson has revealed how Sean O'Driscoll's methods on the training ground are making Bristol City harder to beat on the pitch.
Rather than dictate terms to his charges, the 55-year-old Midlander prefers to consult the players and is constantly asking their opinion on all manner of football issues.
And midfielder Pearson, pictured, insists that two-way dialogue has helped the new head coach get his message across quickly since succeeding Derek McInnes in mid-January.
The former Scotland international told The Post: "Since the manager has come in, we have established a daily routine that is based entirely upon how we are going to play on Saturday or Tuesday and that is making us more difficult to beat.
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"He is constantly asking for feedback from the players, because he wants to know what we think about things. He is always asking what we think about certain situations on the training pitch. He wants to know what would we do if such and such a circumstance arose in a game.
"We talk about things and sort them out between ourselves, which is healthy. Obviously, things happen very quickly on the pitch and the important thing is to know how to respond.
"By talking about things and practicing the same things on a daily basis, we are improving our chances of responding to any given situation in the right way."
Organisation and discipline are O'Driscoll's watchwords and the former Doncaster Rovers and Nottingham Forest boss will seek to impose the same principles in tomorrow's crunch home game against fellow npower Championship strugglers Barnsley.
Pearson commented: "It takes time to change things when a new manager comes in and he has tried to make us more organised.
"From the first day he came in, the gaffer has been preaching the importance of keeping our shape and discipline and that is what we have been working on.
"Regardless of the opposition and formation, those principles remain the same.
"We lost our shape a bit when we went 2-0 down at Blackburn and could have conceded three or four. But we improved on that at Cardiff and Palace and we need to keep our shape in every game."
Having come up against promotion-chasing Cardiff City and Crystal Palace in the past week, the Robins now have an opportunity to pick up points in a series of games against some of the Championship's lesser lights.
Barnsley are in a rich vein of form right now, having exited the bottom three and made it through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, but they are not Cardiff or Palace and City will fancy their chances of registering a fourth successive home win.
Pearson reasoned: "We've come up against some of the best sides in the league in the last few games and those have all been difficult.
"But those games have gone now and we have quite a few coming up where we will be targeting points.
"They are key games and we know we need to take maximum points from them if we can. But you never quite know what you are going to get in the Championship and every game is different.
"You have to be confident in your ability and believe you can get the points."