PLYMOUTH KEEN ON EX-FOREST MANAGER
Director of football Damien Comolli has had spells at Tottenham and then Liverpool and has always polarised opinion. But he has a proven record for finding gems and Sako was one of his next big things when he moved to Saint-Etienne in 2009.
This summer, Sako moved to Wolves, making an impact by scoring on both his first appearance in the League Cup tie against Northampton as well as his league debut against Cardiff.
And a series of impressive performances from him have been one of the few plusses for Wolves following their underwhelming start to life back in the Championship. But Sako, a former France U21 international, says he has come to England to play in the Premier League.
“In 2009 Saint-Etienne sporting director Damien Comolli came to recruit me – I signed a four-year deal and that’s where my game really took off,” he said.
“Initially I wasn’t hugely keen to join Wolves after their relegation from the Premier League, but when I was explained the challenge to get immediately promoted I found it much more attractive.
“When I arrived at the club it was quite tense as there hadn’t been many good results in a while but we began to win some matches and weren’t too badly-placed in the table. But then we went through another difficult time where we went nine games without a win until we beat Bristol City 4-1 away.
“It was a real relief to get that win because we had been searching for it for quite some time – we needed to start winning to get the confidence back among the group and in the changing rooms. The aim is to get promoted back to the Premier League, and even though we’re not in a great position there are a lot of games left and I think we can do it. “At the moment we don’t look wellplaced, but if we can string together a good sequence of results then we will quickly find ourselves towards the top of the table.”
With high-profile departures such as Steven Fletcher and Matt Jarvis, as well many new arrivals including manager Stale Sol- bakken, the 24-year-old has had to adjust to life in England fast.
Already he can see himself staying long-term and while the pressure on Solbakken is increasing as each week goes by, Sako believes the manager needs to be given time to prove himself.
He added:“I think I have settled well in England – it’s not the same football as in France, it’s different, you have to adapt and I would like to think that I have managed to do that from the start.
“I plan on staying in England, I appreci- ate the country and the people and I hope to have a long career over here.
“I have a good relationship with the manager, he has confidence in me and I have confidence in him, and I think it’s a good thing. I think he is under some pressure to succeed because Wolves is a big club – all the managers who come here are under pressure to do well, but I think the club and the players trust him. For the time being then he shouldn’t feel threatened in his job at all.” SACKED Nottingham Forest manager Sean O’Driscoll has emerged as a candidate for a role as director of football at Plymouth Argyle.
The League Two strugglers are keen to provide experienced help for young boss Carl Fletcher.
John Ward turned down the role to take over as manager of Bristol Rovers, but Argyle director Colin Sexstone revealed a list of candidates had been drawn up.
Fletcher played for O’Driscoll when he was at AFC Bournemouth and O’Driscoll had been lined up for the role before taking charge at the City Ground.
“We want to move quickly, but we also want to do it correctly,” said Sexstone.
“We have had more interesting candidates come up that we haven’t had before, so we are going to have a chat with them. I would say there is a stand-out candidate but there are a couple of complications, so we have to work on that.
“There were a number of people who are in work who have approached us, but maybe they weren’t quite right for us.
“It’s always a complication when you have to get out from another club.”
On O’Driscoll, Fletcher added: “He only got sacked on Boxing Day so it is very fresh.”
FRENCH RESISTANCE: Bakary Sako says Wolves have a chance. Inset, manager Stale Solbakken
TARGET: Sean O’Driscoll