When Nottingham Forest crashed out of the playoffs to a stylish Swansea City side, Billy Davies could be forgiven for feeling down, dejected and dismissive.
The Forest fans, witnessing yet another playoff failure, felt beaten and downhearted. Few things could pick up the mood, as they trudged home, head bowed.
As the Forest supporters coaches travelled the four hours back to the Brian Clough Car Park, so did Billy Davies. The fans arrived back in Nottingham in their droves, and word got around.
Billy Davies was present, to shake the hand of every supporter who attended. Comments such as “Thanks for giving us a team to be proud of”, could be heard, along with the powerful, Glaswegian accent of Billy Davies replying back in praise of their support.
The Nottingham Forest fans went from feeling resigned, to feeling valued. The playoff heartache was briefly taken over by a spell of optimism. An attribute that Billy Davies has mastered.
His ability to quickly turn something negative into a positive, with a simple clinch of a fist, or a basic shake of the hand, is why Billy Davies is a Nottingham Forest favourite. As people speculate the reasons behind Billy’s quick impact, they should look no further than these reasons.
The likes of Henri Lansbury and Raddy Majewski will be feeling valued under his management, similarly to how the supporters felt integral as they stepped off the coach to be greeted by him.
When Billy Davies’s face beamed out of the big screen against Bolton, it felt as if he was speaking to you. After rumours of a PR Company being employed by The Al-Hasawi family, this particular interaction was crucial in the relationship between the club and its supporters.
Billy’s speech wasn’t filmed, edited and refined until perfection. It was from the heart, mentioning the unfinished business he has at the club, for the current owner, the fans and the late Nigel Doughty.
The relationship between Billy Davies and Fawaz Al-Hasawi could be a match made in heaven, or a match made in hell. It could go either way, but the anticipation is enough to keep the fans on the edge of their seats.
The players entered the pitch against Bolton in a different manner than they’d done in the whole McLeish era. High energy, pressing, fast tempo and slick passing. The players in a week of Billy’s management looked like they wanted to participate, with smiles on their faces and an extra edge to succeed.
Forest rarely do routs, but Huddersfield was one to remember. When the players woke up from a poor opening ten minutes, they performed admirably and were a class apart, a reminder of the previous Davies era, thrashing the likes of QPR and Leicester.
With Nottingham Forest crying out for consistency, Fawaz Al-Hasawi needs to ensure he rests his mind with Billy Davies. He’s shown previously that if he believes there’s better out there, he’ll ruthlessly deliver what his mind interprets as right.
Now’s the time for Fawaz to become the money man. Let the players do the talking, and watch the club flourish.
If you blinked, you missed Alex McLeish’s spell in charge. If you did, you’re fortunate. If Billy continues Sean O’Driscoll’s brilliant work, the playoffs are a massive possibility.
Momentum is everything, and it looks like Forest are picking it up.
@will_forest to get in touch via Twitter.