Sean O'Driscoll lured by Bristol City's long-term vision
Sean O'Driscoll has revealed how Bristol City's strategy to achieve long-term sustainability persuaded him to take the head coach's position at Ashton Gate.
Installed as successor to the sacked Derek McInnes earlier this week, the former Nottingham Forest and Doncaster Rovers boss has a short-term brief to try and keep the Robins in the npower Championship.
But that pressing necessity must be balanced against the need to develop players, create a younger, hungrier squad for the future and ensure the club satisfies the requirements of Financial Fair Play when it comes into force next season.
Those are all things close to O'Driscoll's heart and featured prominently on his own agenda when he met Robins managing director Jon Lansdown and chairman Keith Dawe to discuss the vacancy at the weekend.
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Asked why he decided to turn down Blackpool and take on the challenge of revitalising the Championship's basement club, O'Driscoll replied: "First and foremost, there was an opportunity. Unfortunately, someone else had to lose their job for me to have an opportunity to come to Bristol City."
He added: "In my experience, when you go to speak to a football club, you either go in there listening to what the club wants to do and go along with it, because you want the job, or you go in and say 'this is what I want to do' before they get a chance to say this, that or the other.
"When we came to speak, they (the board) told me exactly what I wanted to hear.
"Of course they don't want to go down and staying in this division is the priority. But you have to have a strategy in place and they had a strategy in place. That ticked a big box for me, because I did not have to convince people and ask 'have you thought of this, have you thought of that'."
Although O'Driscoll's role is ostensibly to oversee first team affairs, he believes the club should be focussed on building from the bottom up.
And he claims the steps already taken by his successor towards that end are earning City new respect outside of Bristol.
He said: "I know supporters don't want to hear this, but Bristol City is a well-respected club. When you go around and talk to people, you learn that it is well-run in terms of having an owner who is committed to the football club.
"I know it has plans for a stadium that may or may not come off and it has been talked about a lot and people are becoming fed up with it, but it is a club that is well thought of.
"It needs to develop itself from the bottom up rather than concentrating on things from the top down. That is the way football clubs have to go now."
In the end, O'Driscoll decided to accept City's offer of a 12-month rolling contract because "it felt right."
He explained: "Sometimes you buy a player on a gut instinct and sometimes you pick a team on a gut instinct. Sometimes, your gut instinct is what you have to go with and that was the case for me.
"When I sat down and had to make the decision, it just felt right for me."