Sean O’Driscoll insists back-to-back goalless draws show just how far his team has come.
City were without a clean sheet all season prior to the head coach’s arrival in mid-January, but four clean sheets in the ten games since tells its own story.
Play-off chasing Brighton & Hove Albion were the latest opponents to be frustrated after Blackpool three days prior, and the boss was full of praise for his players, who looked the more likely winners at Ashton Gate.
“Their commitment and attitude was fantastic,” O’Driscoll told Bristol City Player
. “This is a team that’s unbeaten in five and had a great win against Huddersfield 4-1 on Saturday so they’ve been free scoring, but the game plan worked and they stuck to it.
“Some of the work rate was exceptional – Jon Stead is absolutely on his knees in the changing room, but they led by example and have come a long way in a short space of time, in my opinion.
“I can’t remember them having a chance. We threatened and tried to put the ball in the box as much as we could and sometimes we’ve got to do that with a bit more quality, but I can’t fault their efforts.
“We had Sam Baldock, Albert Adomah
and Steven Davies on the bench, and those three definitely give us a cutting edge, but it’s just that balancing act between leaving yourselves exposed at the back. We wanted to be a side that was hard to beat, and two clean sheets say that’s the case.
“We had to go and play three against three in midfield, because I’ve watched Brighton play so many times against two-man midfields and their rotation and movement can give you problems, so I thought Cole Skuse’s experience and passing ability gave us a little bit of composure in there.”
Meanwhile, O’Driscoll also paid tribute to the City supporters, who spurned the chance to stay at home and watch Manchester United and Real Madrid do battle in the UEFA Champions League.
“They were terrific,” he added. “They’ve supported the team , which is all we’ve asked them to do. I say it every time in my programme notes – come and support your local team, and they’ve done that again tonight.
“Having said that, I think it probably says a lot for Sky Plus – if they don’t know the score at least they can go home and watch it later on! But it’s a combination of everybody playing their part, and that’s certainly the case at the moment."