Dexter Blackstock: Nottingham Forest must give Billy Davies time to have an influence
NOTTINGHAM Forest must give Billy Davies the time to bring some stability to the club.
That was the message today from Dexter Blackstock, who says Sean O'Driscoll and Alex McLeish were not given the opportunity to have an influence at the City Ground.
The long-serving striker is delighted to see his former boss back at the club.
But he hopes Davies will be given the chance to have the kind of influence he had during his first spell in charge, when he twice steered the Reds to top-six finishes in the Championship.
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"For me, stability is huge for everyone," said Blackstock, who started as Forest beat Huddersfield 6-1 at the City Ground last night as Davies took charge of his second game.
"Things happen in football, things can change. I know that.
"But we have had a couple of managers now who, if we are honest, did not have the time to put their stamp on things.
"You can say they might have got off to a bad start or whatever else – but whatever you say about them, they did not have the chance to change things at the club.
"For Billy now, if he can get the chance to go through the club and have his influence, if he is given time, it will really benefit the club."
Blackstock says the sense of unity at the core of the club was a big part of their previous success under the Scotsman.
"It is something that was never in doubt the first time Billy was here," said Blackstock.
"We knew he was going to be here for a while; there was a sense that we were in things together.
"Throughout the club there was a lot of stability. When I signed permanently that summer, I was one of seven or eight new players.
"And we all signed long-term contracts. Everyone that signed; the main core of the team knew they were going to be at Forest for three or four years.
"It was something we were all working towards – helping Forest to get promoted. We came close to achieving it, as well."
And Blackstock hopes the same spirit can be engineered by Davies now.
"You all need to be singing off the same hymn sheet – and that only comes through stability," he said. "Most successful clubs have stability. It is just common sense. You can't keep bringing in new staff, new coaches, new fitness coaches.
"For me, if we are going to move forward, we need to have stability. Billy has signed a three-and-a-half year deal and he is a proven manager.
"His record is there, when it comes to Championship football.
"Hopefully he can bring that back again."