A WEEK might have past but I make no apologies for offering a few of my own thoughts on our terrific five-goal victory over Nottingham Forest.
I have to say that it wasn’t a surprise we came out on top. We are on a good run against them, I think we have lost only one of the last six meetings.
Once I saw Forest’s team, I knew straight away our energy in midfield would be too much for them, and especially their two sitting midfielders.
I thought we were very good and I thought Forest were extremely poor, and it is probably the first time for a while we can say that about them because the games are usually tight affairs.
Craig Bryson scored his second hat trick of the season and he was outstanding again.
It was tough to pick out individuals in such a good team performance.
Chrissy Martin did extremely well up front and we defended well but I thought Brys and Jeff were the pick of our players. They gave Forest all sorts of problems and I said beforehand they could be the difference, and that proved to be the case.
For me, the pick of the five goals was the third one scored by Jeff.
It started with a clearing header from a Forest corner. Jamie Ward then hooked the ball forward which was taken well by Patrick Bamford, who had major roles in two of the goals.
Patrick can be frustrating sometimes because he doesn’t mind flicking the ball on and wants to create stuff, but he has such good control when he gets hold of the ball.
He controlled it well and showed outstanding awareness to set Jeff free. I actually thought Jeff had one touch too many when in on goal, but he finished it really well.
Of course, Johnny Russell’s strike was special and will take some beating when goal of the season comes round.
It was a nice moment for Johnny because he has had a stop-start season with injuries.
If you watch many of the goals he scored up in Scotland, he scored a lot of long-range efforts and individual goals. He has got that in his locker.
Myself and Couttsy (Paul Coutts) were sat right behind his strike and as soon as the ball left his foot you knew it was destined for the net.
I have to say the atmosphere at the iPro was as good as I can remember.
It was obviously helped by the season we have been having and the opposition, of course, but having our fans behind both goals and moving the away fans to the corner also played a big part. The players said it felt better on the pitch.
There appeared to be a bit of a sideshow going on at Forest in the weeks before last Saturday’s game.
They were losing games, there was Billy Davies’ touchline ban and him not speaking to the media.
Forest under Davies are usually a settled side and often on a good run when they face us, but not this time and I thought it would all work in our favour.
It didn’t really surprise us what happened. A few of the players watching from the stand fancied a 3-0 or 4-0 win for us, although you never really think a result like that is on the cards in a ‘derby’.
We scored the early goal and that helped us to settle. They came back into it but our second goal killed them and we went on from there.
Forest did not look a settled side, nor a happy side.
Yes, they had a few injuries and we met them at a low point given their results, the problems with the manager and growing pressure on them, but we dealt with everything really well.
We were extremely calm, relaxed and confident going into the game.
Looking at Forest’s plight from a distance, as soon as you have investors coming in and throwing millions of pounds around there is a different excpectation.
They are, though, only two points outside the top six with eight games left. They have still got every chance of getting into the play offs and getting promoted.
The squad is good and they have some decent players, and quite a few to come back from injury.
A new manager could give them a timely boost, time will tell.
As I said, it might be a week on from our win against them but you have to enjoy special occasions and victories like that to the full.