Passionate speech set the tone for Billy Davies' tenure, says Jonathan Greening
DURING his previous spell in charge of Nottingham Forest, Billy Davies would spend hours editing video highlight packages for his players to watch.
He even went as far as having a high-tech video suite installed in his home, to enable him to put together DVDs of action he felt could help improve his players' performance levels.
Whether, during his time away from the City Ground, he has put those big screen facilities to a different use, to put his feet up and catch up with a few Hollywood blockbusters is unclear.
But Jonathan Greening says the Scotsman's first team meeting was like something out of Rocky, when it came to inspiring a passionate response from those in the dressing room with a rousing speech.
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"The first meeting he took, I could not believe it. I was quite shocked by it," said Greening.
"I knew what he was like, because people had told me. But it was still a surprise.
"It was passionate, sincere and enthusiastic.
"It was like a Rocky moment, you just wanted to go out and train right away, that minute, after he had spoken to us.
"He is a very clever guy, he has such attention to detail and he seems to know when to have a go and when to put an arm around you.
"I have had a lot of managers and he is up there, on that front.
"We have had five managers in 18 months, which is not ideal. But the gaffer has signed a long-term contract.
"Hopefully we can do well during that period and he will be around for a while."
When it came to Greening's Forest career, it had seemed that the final credits were rolling, after he struggled to break into the team under both Sean O'Driscoll and Alex McLeish.
But it now seems the midfielder has a part to play in the Davies' sequel, after being told by the manager that he can still play a leading role.
Although Greening does admit that he hopes he has seen the last of a remarkable umber of plot twists in a remarkable campaign that saw Steve Cotterill sacked before a ball had been kicked, O'Driscoll removed on Boxing Day and Davies arrive following the short reign of McLeish.
"I have had a good career, I have been there and done it. I am just at the stage in my career where I need a run of games now," said Greening. "I do need to get a bit of confidence back.
"But I was playing at the end of last season with only one leg, I would not say I was even 65% fit.
"The gaffer at the time, Steve Cotterill, asked me if I would play on and delay my operation until the summer, which I did.
"I needed it in February, but I played for the rest of the season with pain killing injections, just to help out.
"Maybe I should not have done that, but it is the way I am and I also respected Steve as a person, so I wanted to do it for him. I tried to carry on.
"It is nice to be involved again now. I had an op on my ankle in the summer and rushed back to try to make the start of the season.
"But it was not as good as it should have been and Sean was right not to involve me, because I was running with a limp still.
"I was just trying to get through training as well as I could, because it is just the way I am.
"But Sean pulled me and said 'listen, go out and get some games on loan.' That was great, because I enjoyed being at Barnsley and got some good fitness under my belt.
"But I came back and Sean had left and McLeish was the manager. I was hoping that, having played well for Barnsley, I could get back into his plans.
"He didn't seem to fancy me, which was a little disheartening. But then he left and the gaffer came back and things changed again.
"He pulled me on the first day and said that, if I work hard for him in training and show him what a good player I can be, I will start with a clean slate.
"I have worked hard and he put me on the bench a few times and got on the pitch last weekend, which was great.
"He believes I am a good player and he wants me to get some match fitness, some sharpness and generally just have me involved around the place.
"I was buzzing when he told me that."
Greening says Davies' passion has also been reflected out on the training ground.
"Training has been great, the tempo has gone up one-hundred fold from what it was and everyone is benefiting from it," he said. "With the results we are having, everyone is confident and that has been demonstrated in games.
"You just want to play. It is hard to explain how it feels. Particularly for me, because I am so used to playing all the time.
"I am used to playing 45 games a season so, to not be not involved for three-quarters of the season has been hard.
"I have had a few low periods this year. But things change quickly in football, as we have all found out.
"The gaffer has said he wants me to stay here, because of my experience. He says he wants me to be involved now and next season.
"He has been great with me, because there was a stage when I thought it might be it for me.
"I want to prove to him that I am a good player; to prove it to everyone else as well.
"I feel really good now. I won four man of the match awards in a row at Barnsley and scored a goal, which is rare for me.
"I know I have to work hard to get a place in the team. There are some great players here and the team is playing very well.
"But the gaffer has been putting me on the bench and I have enjoyed having a part to play."
And, Forest's story may still have a Hollywood ending, in the form of what has, this season, often looked to be a most unlikely return to the bright lights of the Premier League.