…nothing like the old boss.
During his first press conference, helpfully transcribed by the Seat Pitch site, Sean O’Driscoll managed to give some insightful and intelligent answers to predictably banal questions from the local hacks.
It was probably unrealistic to expect a Paxman-style grilling over his lack of loyalty to Crawley Town, or to find out whether he’s still on speaking terms with Steve Cotterill, but LTLF thought someone might at least have pressed him for hints over transfer budgets and how exactly the new chain of command at Forest will work.
Nevertheless, O’Driscoll comes across as a quietly witty man with grounded expectations, acknowledging the meagre lifespan of the modern football manager and subtly emphasising that rebuilding the squad will take time.
A reputation for being somewhat scabrous and impatient towards the media precedes him, in contrast to his predecessor’s honest, sometimes jokey interview manner and indeed Billy Davies’ playful manipulations. Although he wasn’t hostile, foolishness wasn’t going to be suffered – see his answer when asked to confirm the club’s interest in Stoke defender Danny Collins:
We’ve been told Danny Collins is due to hold talks imminently.
What stage are we at with that?
Well, we’re talking.
When the dreaded ‘i’ word was brought up, he pithily remarked: ‘I thought to myself, all the iconic names I know are dead.’
And when asked whether Jermaine Jenas was a target (he’s not, apparantly), he commented that he was giving ‘the same old bland answers that you get from most football managers’ – fair comment, but he was being asked the same old bland questions you get from most football journalists. I don’t know who asked him ‘Because your appointment came comparatively late in the summer, how much more difficult has that made your job coming into the new season?’ but their Pulitzer certainly isn’t in the post.
It was nice to hear from the new boss, but on the evidence of today the less time he spends talking to the press and the more time talking to prospective players, the better. From what we already know about him, I think that’s the way he’d like it as well.
PS. You can currently watch the press conference for free on the official Forest website homepage.