Sean O'Driscoll challenges Bristol City's players to "solve the problem" against Brighton
Sean O’Driscoll is adamant Bristol City can concede possession to Brighton and still beat the Championship play-off contenders at Ashton Gate on Tuesday night.
Gus Poyet’s in-form Seagulls have carved out a reputation as one of the best passing teams outside of the Barclays Premier League and the challenge for City’s head coach is how to go about nullifying opponents who keep the ball for long periods.
But Watford came to Ashton Gate in January boasting a similar reputation and left empty-handed as the Robins translated a meagre 40 per cent possession into a 2-0 win.
“Every game is a problem you have to solve and that is how we approach it. We always ask ourselves what we can do to solve the next problem,” commented O’Driscoll.
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“We have to try and counteract what Brighton do and be effective ourselves. Watford had a lot of the ball against us, yet we still beat them, and playing Brighton could be very similar.
“People always used to say it was impossible to win a game unless you had a majority of possession, but it has not worked out that way over the seasons.
“You have to be effective when you have the ball. If you have a lot of possession, you still have to be effective.”
O’Driscoll admits his players are unable to match Brighton’s ball retention and the Robins will set out to stifle and frustrate the visitors rather than seek to match fire with fire.
Although City’s style of play is still evolving under the new head coach, O’Driscoll insists it is important the club develops an identity of its own, just as the likes of Brighton and Swansea have done.
He explained: “Brighton are a very good passing side and that is what people always say when they talk about them.
“They have an identity and that is something we have to strive for.
“You need an identity that remains even though managers may come and go. Swansea are a good example of a club that have kept their identity regardless of the manager.
“It is something clubs should adopt, because it ensures continuity and consistency and enables clubs to build something.
“If you can get everyone within a club singing from the same hymn sheet, then it can be massive.”