Leeds enjoyed overwhelming possession but rarely tested Tom Heaton, with Liam Fontaine and Louis Carey standing firm at the back. The biggest threat to Leeds goalkeeper Paddy Kenny was a close-in backpass from defender Tom Lees.
Ross McCormack scored the only goal after 66 minutes when Ross Barkley, on his home debut, tricked Stephen Pearson and crossed from the right for the striker to out-jump Richard Foster and head in at the far post.
O'Driscoll explained: "I've had three days with them and I thought they deserved a `well done'. You don't get many chances to say that when you are still bottom of the league.
"We wanted them to be well organised, hard to beat and bright in the opposition's half, which they were. I was pleased with their application but disappointed with the result. They are an honest bunch and I will just give them some direction."
Asked if he was optimistic about avoiding the drop, O'Driscoll replied: "Optimism in football is a dangerous emotion. You have to be realistic and we are in a dangerous position, but if we can maintain the level we set here and add a couple of players there is no reason why we can't give ourselves a chance of retaining Championship status."