100 Up For Billy Davies
Billy Davies celebrated his 100th game as manager of Nottingham Forest last night, with a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough. Whilst this particular result and performance were less than impressive, the turnaround in fortunes he and his backroom staff have made over the past two years are. Infact, it's nothing short of remarkable.
When Billy Davies took charge at the beginning of 2009, the club was taking the fastest possible route back to League 1. In his first half season and with only 20 games to do it, he managed to save us from relegation and in the process quite comfortably, with a 19th place finish and a full 7 points clear of the drop.
The 2009/10 season ended in heartbreaking style, after losing out to Blackpool in the Playoff semi finals. It was a couple of games too far for a small squad that had already run out of steam. The 3rd place finish in the table was a remarkable achievement though and one that lay the foundations for the current campaign.
After 34 games of this season and with precious little to show by way of investment in the squad, it's even more remarkable that Billy Davies sees his team occupying 4th place in the table, just 3 points off 2nd. He's achieved this, by using fewer players than any other club in the division (26). In contrast to this figure, top of the table QPR have used the most with 38 and for anyone saying a smaller squad is better for team spirit and togetherness and has a greater chance of success, take a look at Preston. They sit bottom of the pile and have used 36 players.
100 games ago this club was on its knees, but after 45 wins, 32 draws and 23 defeats, it has risen to the heights where it's considered as a serious Premiership candidate. I only hope that Billy Davies is the manager in another 100 games time, because if the failure to back him continues, then you have to accept that he will go to a club where they will. Well done Billy Davies.