Nottingham Forest boss O'Driscoll continues to question everything in his quest for success
SEAN O'Driscoll is a man who likes to question the norm, a man intent on educating people in such a way that he gets the best out of every single person around him.
And, as he prepared his side for their trip to Wolves in the Championship, the Nottingham Forest manager's bugbear this week was about throw-ins of all things.
"The latest thing, and it drives me mad, is why do the left-backs and right-backs always take the throw-ins?" says O'Driscoll, flinging his arms into the air in a despairing way.
"It's a simple thing, but someone picks the ball up and throws in to the full-back who trots up to take the ball, but why don't you just throw it to him?
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"He has the same problem of who to throw it to when he collects the ball."
It seems a trivial thing to get so animated about, but that's maybe more a reflection of O'Driscoll as a manager that he leaves no stone unturned in his analysis of how he could make the Reds a better team in every single facet of their play.
"It's just looking at football a different way, as I don't understand why certain things happen," he continues.
"I'm always questioning why we are doing certain things, 'well, we've always done it that way' – well that's no reason to just keep doing it, why are you doing it?
"That's something I try to instil in the players to make sure you understand why you are doing something, because if you don't understand it you can't take responsibility for it.
"I'll ask (the players) why did you do that and why did you hit that ball and nine times out of ten they don't have a clue.
"We blame the players, but that's down to coaching – we've got to be able to educate players better rather than just do the same things."
Such is the modesty of the man, O'Driscoll would never admit his ability to be thorough in everything he does is either a good or a bad thing. "You'd have to ask the players about that," he quips.
And, anyway, the Forest boss is, by the sounds of it, too busy for patting himself on the back in any way.
Take a second to listen to him speaking about the finer points of the game, however, and you soon realise the Forest chief does not approach each match lightly in terms of his preparations.
It's all about breaking the game down into "bitesize chunks", if you believe O'Driscoll.
"I don't look at results, I look at performances. I don't really care what the result is, apart from if I concede goals or if I score goals. You're just looking at patterns really," he explains.
"You see so many DVDs and so many games of football, you're actually looking for specific things because you only get a certain amount of time with the players.
"I could fill the players' heads with this tactic, that tactic, this, that and the other but it will go in one ear and out of the other.
"So, we're trying to break down the Championship into bitesize chunks that everybody can understand so that we know what's going to happen.
"We played Sheffield Wednesday last week and the ball was 'in play' in the first half for 25 minutes and the ball was 'in play' in the second half for 24 minutes.
"So there's a great deal of time, 50 minutes, where the ball was not in play.
"I think the average Championship game is 55 minutes long. So that's 35 minutes where the ball is out of play and that happens in every Championship game so that's a good starting point – what are you going to do with those 35 minutes?
"If you're disorganised, undisciplined then that's going to cost you.
"And that's got nothing to do with how much money you've got, what players you've got, it's an understanding of where we've got to be at a certain time to do what you want to do.
"We're trying to instil that into the players so that we can hit principles and then tweak individual games.
"That's the thought process, but in the end you get judged on whether you win, lose or draw."
Ever a man to cite a stat or two, O'Driscoll says the facts spoke for themselves following last Saturday's 1-0 home win over Sheffield Wednesday.
The Reds had a series of good chances, but had to rely on an own goal to take their first three-point return since the 4-1 victory at Barnsley on October 27.
"They (Sheffield Wednesday) had 112 passes in the game, which is unbelievably few, so for them to only have 112 and have goalscoring opportunities, you know without even looking at the game that the ball has gone from back to front," added the Forest boss.
"The game was a strange game in that respect.
"We could have won at a canter, but we committed some basic errors and that has probably been our Achilles heel all season.
"When we're good, we're very good but we can concede at any minute.
"That's been us all season, we have been guilty of unforced errors and in the Championship they will punish you.
"We tried to tell the players, 'look, this is where we have done well, but this is where we have shot ourselves in the foot'."