The Nottingham Forest players have earned plenty of plaudits after the Reds won 2-0 against Huddersfield Town on Saturday. It was the first league victory of the campaign and gave Forest a lifeline at the foot of the Championship.
There is one man though who has seen his impact on the team slip under the radar; when really he deserves the absolute utmost of respect.
Steven Reid was handed the reins following Chris Hughton’s sacking on Thursday. The club’s first-team coach was tasked with preparing the team for the trip to West Yorkshire.
It was a surprise choice. Assistant manager Paul Trollope had departed with Hughton and having brought him to the club, Reid was expected to depart too.
That wasn’t the case though. Forest clearly see something in Reid as a coach and if Saturday was an X-Factor audition, he’d now be preparing to make a trip to Simon Cowell’s house.
What did Reid do to inspire Forest win?
The main surprise to his management style was that he ripped up exactly what Hughton had tried to do during his time in charge.
Gone was the rigid 4-2-3-1 that placed emphasis on Forest being scared to death of what the opposition might do. In came a flexible 3-4-3 that saw the Reds get the ball quickly to the likes of Joe Lolley and Brennan Johnson in high areas.
Djed Spence and Max Lowe were also brilliant in the wing-back slots, whilst Tobias Figueiredo looked at home in a three-man defence.
During 2021/22 so far it’s been a mixture of excuses and poor performances from Forest. Some have slated the quality within the squad, but the club is fortunate to have some quality players.
The Reds showcased that on Saturday and after just two training sessions with his team, Reid rolled the dice, took a gamble and watched on as Forest thrived in the West Yorkshire sunshine.
Has Reid earned himself a Forest stay?
It’s likely to depend on whether the new boss, expected to be Steve Cooper, can bring all of the staff with him he’d like to.
Reid has proved himself compatible with a number of systems though. If anything, he may have been left scratching his head at Hughton’s often bizarre in-game management.
The former West Brom and Blackburn midfielder proved his worth as a coach on Saturday. He showcased that he’s capable of getting a group of players playing a nice brand of football and in a very short space of time.
As a result, Cooper will have a decision to make and Reid has done his chances of earning a Forest stay no harm at all.