Bristol City FanZoner Ben Fisher questions the timing of the decision to sack Derek McInnes.
McInnes sacking could have come much earlier
Everybody knew the tough task that was ahead come Friday evening, with a home fixture against Leicester City on the Saturday. Leicester, a team that had just splashed a couple of million on former Robins' loanee Chris Wood, boast two ex-England internationals and Peter Schmeicel's talented son, Kasper.
Nobody was expecting an awful lot against the Foxes, although some were quietly confident following a ten-day gap since City succumbed to defeat against Millwall, where perhaps Derek McInnes could find time to put things right. The reality however was far different after McInnes was relieved from his duties come Saturday night, following a humble 4-0 home defeat against Nigel Pearson's men.
City were inept and couldn't handle the presence of New Zealand international Wood, who had shown glimpses of hat-trick-like form whilst on-loan at Ashton Gate. City threw in newbie Liam Kelly, who had signed from Kilmarnock the day before, but even his all action efforts couldn't thwart a buoyant Leicester eleven.
McInnes was brought to the club to keep the team in the division, a feat that he managed, although his goal this season was far different. Upon finding himself out of work, City sat rock-bottom of the Championship in a position where McInnes and his co-pilot Tony Docherty could no longer hide. The Scotsman's time at Ashton Gate will be remembered for the wrong reasons, despite a brave effort to force City up the table.
His sacking though, was slightly untoward. McInnes spoke of bringing in Crawley central defender Kyle McFadzean in the pre-match press conference and was allowed to bring in Kelly, although it seems his position was already much more precarious than thought. McInnes, despite his flaws and difficulties this season was thought to hold almost an 'unsackable' status considering what had gone before, especially during November and December.
But chairman Jon Lansdown acted upon the four-goal home drubbing immediately after the match. The question however is why action simply wasn't taken before, considering City only notched their first home win since August last year, three days before the end of 2012.
Sean O'Driscoll was appointed on Monday after holding talks on Sunday with Lansdown, confirming previous interest in the ex-Doncaster and Bournemouth man. The 55-year old was fancied by many for the job prior to McInnes' arrival, after many fans sought the style of football that Doncaster had continued to play in the second-tier.
O'Driscoll should bring new ideas, that's a given but it's hoped that he can get the very best out of a City squad which supposedly has been put in place, to challenge at the other end of the table. New signings aren't expected to be inspiring but points will be demanded from the off, as City's position hangs in the balance.
Should the new manager be able to keep City in this division, he will no doubt be lauded the way that McInnes was this time last year. At this point McInnes and Docherty both insisted that this was their job and that they must improve the club's position the following season, billing that as essential. Now you just have to hope O'Driscoll won't follow in such steps and ensure that City re-build successfully, either way.