We lost our shape at Blackburn, admits Bristol City head coach Sean O'Driscoll
BRISTOL City head coach Sean O'Driscoll has warned his players they must be better organised if they are to retain their Championship status.
The Robins remain in the relegation zone, five points adrift of safety, after losing 2-0 to two Jordan Rhodes goals at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday. And O'Driscoll was critical of the manner in which his team responded to falling two goals behind in the 65th minute.
He said: "We worked hard, but lost our shape. People started doing their own things and we did not really look like a unit any more.
"I can understand it, but it cannot happen again. You cannot suddenly start playing off the cuff in the Championship – it is impossible.
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"I don't care what the score is, you have to be organised. That is a main principle we have to stick to.
"This is the first time they have been tested and they need to get better.
"I'm not having a go at people's effort, commitment or attitude. I'm having a go at the organisation when you go 2-0 down. That is the time when your organisation should not go to pot.
"At 1-0 down we had a foothold in the game and were looking the likelier team to score, so why did they change it?
"You can gamble, but you have to gamble sensibly in this division, especially away from home."
O'Driscoll admitted Rhodes was the difference between the two sides and felt the loss of Louis Carey to injury and his replacement by James Wilson was a decisive factor.
He said: "Jordan Rhodes plays off the last defender and does it really well.
"Alan Shearer is the best I've ever seen at doing that and waiting for a defender to switch off and Jordan is in good company.
"It is difficult when you have to put less experienced defenders on and Jordan has done it to better defenders than James Wilson.
"James is 24 now and he has to be blooded in this league and make sure he does not make the same mistake he made for the second goal again.
"But we were in the game up until then and probably had the best two chances of the first half.
"Had those gone in, we could have come in two-up and in a fantastic position.
"I thought we started the second half very well and we were nice and bright. But the second goal has knocked us back."
O'Driscoll must now lift his players ahead of next Saturday's home Championship game against Nottingham Forest, who he managed earlier in the season.
He said: "It is the first time I've seen them a little bit dispirited. We cannot do anything about it apart from work hard.
"The last few weeks has been quite intense and they probably need a little bit of a rest.
"We've thrown a lot at them and we will take an opportunity to rest up a few of them and come back fresh for Forest next Saturday."