John Ryan: The time was right for a change

New Rovers Manager Dean Saunders at a press conference with chairman John Ryan listening on.  Picture: Andrew Roe
New Rovers Manager Dean Saunders at a press conference with chairman John Ryan listening on. Picture: Andrew Roe

ROVERS chairman John Ryan has this afternoon explained his u-turn decision to sack Sean O’Driscoll.

Ryan gave O’Driscoll a vote of confidence earlier in the week - but then placed him and assistant boss Richard O’Kelly on gardening leave on Friday morning.

Ryan said: “Football is a short lived thing, it changes from day to day.

“Sean was under a lot of pressure and he may even feel relieved now. That’s football.

“It was a very difficult decision.

“Sean has been with the club for more than five years but in my heart of hearts I knew something had to change.

“Things couldn’t go on - we’re seven games into the season with only one point, and obviously we had a bad end to last season as well.

“Something had to change. I had a meeting last night, myself and the vice chairman Dick Watson, and we came to that conclusion.

“I spoke to Sean this morning and we’d had a meeting with him about things recently.

“He was a man I knew was under a lot pressure - any manager would be having not won for 18 games.

“It really is a cataclysmic set of results.”

Ryan said that new boss Dean Saunders would “reinvigorate” Doncaster Rovers.

“Myself and the board have backed Sean for five years but I felt it was coming to a stage where he was finding things a bit tough.

“He’s a great manager and would never say anything other than that.

“But I think everything has it’s day and I think maybe he needed a change.

“I’ve always been aware of Dean’s record because I’m always looking out of the corner of my mind - because don’t forget that Sean could’ve left us on two or three occasions in the past.

“We needed a Plan B as well and we always had Dean in mind.

“He’s someone who will come in and reinvigorate the whole club.”