O’Driscoll would make Pompey purr

Former Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O'Driscoll
Former Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O'Driscoll
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Sean O’Driscoll would try to make Pompey purr with sweet passing football if he took charge at Fratton Park.

O’Driscoll’s Doncaster team was known for a time as the Arsenal of the Championship, such was their commitment to a style which was easy on the eye.

It started to go wrong for him and Donny this season after a bad start and the former Bournemouth stalwart lost his job.

But you will not find many Rovers fans who believe that O’Driscoll was anything other than their best-ever boss, leading them out of the lower divisions.

Now he finds himself as one of the favourites to take over from Steve Cotterill at Fratton Park.

One thing Pompey fans should know is that the manager-elect is one of the most media-shy bosses I have ever met.

He’s not unfriendly but you got the impression that, given the choice, he would prefer not to talk to reporters at all.

The question also arises as to whether Pompey have the players to play the O’Driscoll way?

But it might be fun finding out.

It is a pity Dave Jones, the former Cardiff manager, who was a weekend favourite for the hot seat, appears to now not be a contender at all.

He would have been a solid choice after several promotion near-misses in south Wales.

Although Pompey chief executive David Lampitt has stated the need for someone with Championship experience, the Blues might also be tempted to look at a bright young manager from the lower divisions – like Huddersfield’s Lee Clark or Stevenage’s Graham Westley.

Judging by the haste with which Steve Cotterill left for Nottingham Forest, it did look as though the club were not exactly heartbroken to lose him.

Perhaps they felt that he could not take Pompey much above mid-table.

But there is no doubt that Cotterill’s upbeat, bubbly style was exactly what was needed to take a threadbare squad to safety last season – and that was no mean achievement.

Of course, Pompey won for caretakers Stuart Gray and Guy Whittingham on Saturday, and the second-half display was more encouraging.

But the result hid yet another sluggish first half when Pompey, often too stretched and allowing acres of space in midfield to Barnsley, were fortunate not to fall behind.

It is no exaggeration to say that right now Pompey are a 45-minute team (10 of their 12 goals have come after the interval).

Another slow start is likely to be punished heavily by in-form Ipswich tonight.

Pompey need a manager who can transform this group into a meaner machine.