Tom Head’s Forest blog: Passion of the King - Billy’s Enthusiasm Has Made A Better Team Out of Forest

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Form, glorious form. Free-scoring and clean sheets...

Paraphrased songs from well-known musicals may not be the best medium to describe this sudden ‘twist’ in our season, but a purple patch so sublime in its nature may just be enough reason to burst into song anyway. Though I’m not here to start rumours; don’t go telling any of my mates I like musicals...

Within five games, Billy Davies has silenced his critics. Quite an achievement, even by the Mourinho of the Midlands’ standards.

Succumbing to his charismatic pleas of support, the fans have been treated to some Rolls-Royce football, after being made to carpool in a Daewoo even Les Dennis wouldn’t try and flog on Family Fortunes.

The most appeasing aspect of the Davies honeymoon isn’t just the results: we’ve fixed problems we were having even in the best days of the O’Driscoll era.

Composure and passion were two elements we failed to display on a consistent basis ever since kick-off, on the first day of the season. It is the latter of those more human qualities I want to take the opportunity to talk about.

Can passion be taught? Does it spring from the promise of glory, or the threat of failure?

What we do know about passion, is that it is a term widely overused in the football-sphere. Every phone-in, every message board, every discussion in a pub will eventually be intruded by someone bemoaning that a lack of passion has cost their team a game.

It is a word that can be used by any trollop who fails to understand that, sometimes in football, the opposition can win, too.

A lack of ‘passion’ acts as some sort of stock explanation when things aren’t going well, and it is a lazy criticism that usually has no certifiable backing, apart from a few choice expletives used to punctuate such dreary sentences.

It sure is a cliché, but if it had no frequent relevance to the game, then it would not be used so often. I believe passion is actually the key difference between us now, and our mid-season dip in form.

Though it isn’t the only difference - obviously, we’ve ascended to another level in terms of tactics and technique - but it is a quality we are seeing now, more than at any point of the campaign so far.

For a team to play cohesively well, each player has to have self belief on an astronomical level: a marauding confidence that permeates the team.

But what good is an ego if one loses sight of what they are fighting for?

In Davies, they have a man whose team talks would be best saved for Hollywood epics, just before the dénouement of the piece.

It takes an impassioned leader to convert these great players, into excellent ones.

It’s all well and good having footballers who know they have the ability, but if they only play for self-gratification, they won’t be half as good as their potential suggests.

Of course, comparing Billy to SOD is highly unfair. Certainly, both had a great rapport with the squad, but I doubt you could find a bigger contrast in style within football.

Pitting the quiet professor against the flamboyant showman is redundant, even in hypothetical terms. McLeish, surprisingly, doesn’t come into contention.

We’ve seen the emphatic and the comprehensive, against Huddersfield and Charlton.

Then we witnessed the gritty and the fortuitous, against Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich. If I had to chose one of the qualities to stay with us for the rest of the season, I’d have to opt for good fortune.

Napoleon himself insisted on lucky, rather than experienced, generals.

The man (though reprehensible) had a point: our wins could come comfortably, but what would that count for if the teams around us in the table don’t drop points?

Good luck doesn’t just apply to our internal affairs, it dictates that elements beyond our control could suddenly favour us.

I’m not suggesting the fans start bringing horseshoes and clovers to our final games of the season, but if there is such a thing as luck, you’ll find it in football before you find it anywhere else.

The game is littered with jaw-dropping acts of apparent divine intervention: Jimmy Glass, Sergio Aguero... Michael Ricketts in an England shirt.

We have 10 games left, of varying difficulty, to defy the odds and enter ‘promotion roulette’. If we are to gatecrash the play-offs... Put it all on red.