AFTER just shy of 15 months in charge of Bristol City, Derek McInnes was relieved of his duties on Saturday evening following another humiliating home defeat – this time a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of promotion contenders Leicester City.
No-one could have said “this wasn’t coming.” Pressure had been building on the Scotsman for some time. McInnes rightly took the plaudits for keeping us in the Championship last season, but in equal measure he must take the responsibility for leaving us bottom of the league and six points from safety with just 20 games to go this season.
His record, in terms of results at City, makes for pretty dismal reading; played 63, won 17, drawn 14, lost 32. To lose more than half your games in charge is simply not good enough.
The manner of the defeats has also been a chore to watch. Ashton Gate, no longer a fortress, has seen teams come down and turn us over with consummate ease. Constant tinkering with line-ups and formations led to disruption and uncertainly amongst fans – God knows what it was like for the players!
City moved quickly, and with an air of ruthlessness in appointing former Bournemouth, Doncaster Rovers and most recently Nottingham Forest manager Sean O’Driscoll less than 48 hours after McInnes’ departure.
O'Driscoll was sacked from Forest on Boxing Day, following a 4-2 victory over Leeds United, having taken 36 points from his 24 league games in charge at the club. On the face of it, and in the general consensus of Forest fans, this was a shock decision by the club. I welcome O’Driscoll’s appointment with cautious optimism, following the disappointment of the club’s last two big appointments, Coppell and McInnes. City’s new supremo is a doer rather than a talker, and prioritises performances over ‘outcomes’. His ethos is that with good performances, eventually the results will come.
I hope that O’Driscoll can bring some much needed stability to the club and his methods may take time to see the full results of. But we, as fans, have to believe the success will eventually come. Both Bournemouth and Doncaster achieved success after sticking with O’Driscoll.
I had no faith in McInnes being able to bring us back up if we go down, and I have infinitely more faith in O’Driscoll to do that (if the worst happens) as he has already won promotion from League One with Doncaster.
This season is far from a wright-off, though, and with 20 games still to go, we can survive. But wins are needed quickly and what better way for O’Driscoll to start his City career than with a win over Leeds United on Saturday. And unlike last time he presided over a win against Leeds, he certainly won’t face the sack afterwards!
Do you agree with Will’s views? Have your say below.