Nottingham Forest: I'm not an idiot, says O'Driscoll after gaining revenge on Forest
IN the final stages, as he repeatedly turned to stare into the directors' box in the stands behind the dugouts at Ashton Gate, it was about as close to gloating as Sean O'Driscoll was ever going to get.
Afterwards, after seeing his new side secure an ultimately comfortable 2-0 win, the Bristol City boss insisted he had been glancing at his family, rather than seeking to catch the eye of the man who had sacked him, just over a month ago, from his position as Nottingham Forest manager.
And it was also no surprise that O'Driscoll, never a man to resort to footballing clichés, refused to concede that his side's win over his former employers had carried any additional significance beyond an "important three points".
Although he did concede it was nice to receive a warm reception from the travelling fans, who loudly voiced their appreciation for their former boss more than once on an afternoon on which they otherwise had little to cheer.
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"When you leave a team a point away from the play-offs, I would have been disappointed if I had been given abuse from them!" O'Driscoll joked. "It did not mean more to me, not really. It was just about three points.
"I can only be honest with people. I have always tried to do that, whether it is with fans or players. I don't think anyone could ever accuse me of not being that.
"And you go into a job or a club as big as Forest, with foreign owners, with your eyes wide open. I am not an idiot. Things like that happen.
"Look at QPR. They went through a lot of managers before they realised they could not run it like a Formula One racing team.
"It seems like Forest are going through the same thing right now. I am disappointed, because it is a fantastic club with fantastic supporters and a really talented group of players.
"But I don't think you fear something like that happening, because you go into every job in football knowing that you will ultimately get the sack."
Prior to the game, Forest owner and chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi, insisted he had never interfered with any of his managers at the club – and insisted O'Driscoll would say as much; that we should ask him for confirmation.
"They did not interfere with me, but I am not the manager any more. Perhaps that was the problem," said O'Driscoll. "Alex McLeish is not the manager any more either and perhaps that was his problem.
"I don't know Billy. But I know he is his own man. Is that problem going to go away? I am not sure.
"I did enjoy it, I loved it. I tried to do the right things, to bring the club together. I spoke to the old players, I tried to express in my programme notes what we were trying to achieve.
"I felt there was no more I could do, to be honest, but that is football. Another club has given me an opportunity and I am grateful for that."
Since O'Driscoll was sacked on Boxing Day, Forest have claimed only one win in eight games, while also going through another manager, in Alex McLeish, who lasted only 41 days.
O'Driscoll, meanwhile, has steered Bristol City to three wins from five, helping them claw their way closer to safety in the table.
"This is different for me here, I can do different things here. We slotted into a back three this afternoon… the last time I did that at Forest, I was viewed as being the devil incarnate," he said. "Here, we can do it.
"We can't just turn up and play because we were bottom of the league. But we need to set the players little targets and, when they achieve them, we say 'well done'. If you tell somebody 'well done' often enough, then they will start to believe in themselves more.
"Will we stay up? I think that is an outcome and you know me when it comes to talking about outcomes. If we can perform in the way that we have done in the last five games, we will certainly be a better team."