For Reds fans this week has given them the rare chance to bask in the glory of their team’s success, a positive story where almost everything that has gone before it this season has been negative.
From the almost immediate unravelling of the Steve McClaren experiment, through the announcement of huge losses and ending with the tragic death of Nigel Doughty the overall feel of the campaign has been one of drift, of a club going nowhere and going there fast.
Rightly or wrongly Steve Cotterill’s reputation has become that of a firefighter, not the man to restore Forest to the Premier League while in the background there has always been the lurking shadow of Billy Davies and the contrast between what he managed to wring out of the squad of players at his disposal and the relegation scrap unfolding before supporters’ eyes this season.
Even the victories that have come the Reds’ way have been seen as temporary stays of execution, not enough to prevent the inevitable slide downwards.
And now suddenly Forest are making headlines for the right reasons with a young striker enjoying his spell in the spotlight. That Garath McCleary’s goals and a 7-3 win came at Elland Road makes it all the more enjoyable of course. Hammering Leeds and Neil Warnock suddenly mkes you the best friend of many a rival club up and down the country.
The breathing space afforded by the result and the upturn in fortune that had started to come before it has allowed Cotterill to make a few pointed comments about his inheritance (‘the mismanagement of the squad had been unbelievable’) and the general state of the club. Talking about McCleary’s future after Tuesday night for instance he said: "At the end of the day, I am not in charge of contracts. I don't know if anyone is at this moment in time.”
That sense of drift again. One result in the big scheme of things may be insignificant but the Elland Road romp has put a spring in the step of Forest fans and players once again and it acts as a timely reminder of the power for good that the club can be.
An interesting forum topic on the manager with some contrasting opinions can be found by clicking below.