Billy Davies was in irrepressible form after his side’s 5-0 FA Cup thrashing of West Ham – announcing a new deal for club captain Andy Reid, stating his intention to keep hold of Jack Hobbs and even challenging a journalist to a race.
Davies can have enjoyed few afternoons as satisfying as this in management, condemning a Premier League side to a comprehensive thrashing as Jamie Paterson did the heavy lifting with a superb second-half hat-trick.
It seemed as though nothing could go wrong, with Djamel Abdoun ignoring instructions by taking a first-half penalty before chipping it ‘Panenka’ style into the net, while Reid put the icing on the cake in injury time.
That left plenty for Davies to reflect on, but the Scot – who has had tense relations with some sections of the media this season – started his post-match press conference in unusual fashion. Singling out one reporter and referring to previous social network comments, Davies made a challenge that the pair put a charity collection together and race towards a pork pie.
“Any distance, 100 metres or a 1,000 metres, you name it,” he said.
There was, thankfully, more substantial on-field action to consider.
“I think someone was waiting to be hit for four or five here,” he continued.
“Our play has been very good and we created a host of chances. I’m delighted with the way we played.
“I have to say we know [West Ham boss] Sam Allardyce has bigger fish to fry. We know he has injuries like ourselves. But, before the game, we were concerned, because in [Stewart] Downing and [Matt] Jarvis, [Modibo] Maiga and [Ravel] Morrison they had £20million of talent in the front four. We had to make sure we were up for the game.”
As for Reid, the Republic of Ireland international signed a two-and-a-half-year extension before kick-off and celebrated with a goal just before the final whistle. “We have just agreed a contract,” said Davies. “I’m delighted to have Reidy here, he’s influential and he’s club captain. I’ve told him to lead this team to the Premier League.”
Davies also addressed the future of Hobbs, who is on loan from Hull and the subject of interest from Wigan. Hull would consider a permanent deal for the player but Davies expects him to see out his season-long loan.
Asked if Hobbs might have played his last game for Forest, he replied: “Not a chance. There is a [recall] clause which is for an emergency. As far as we’re concerned that hasn’t changed. He’s still our player.”
Allardyce was facings fresh questions over his future at West Ham after the rout. With injury and suspension problems and a Capital One Cup semi-final in midweek, he handed out a total of five debuts, three from the start and two more off the bench, among nine changes to his team.
It was a gamble that backfired horribly as the relegation-battling Hammers simply had their confidence further assaulted by lower-league opposition.
His future may detract slightly from Paterson’s efforts, but it should not, with the winger winning his side’s spot-kick and then converting three fine goals of his own.
The opener came after just 12 minutes as Paterson beat George Moncur with some neat footwork before being tripped by the midfielder.
Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot but, when Abdoun reached for the ball, Forest fans appeared to groan in unison.
They need not have worried, though, as the Algerian dinked the ball down the middle with a supreme confidence.
West Ham might have equalised before the hour had it not been for Karl Darlow, who saved low from Seb Lletget.
That was as good as it got, though, with the game ended as a contest on 65 minutes when Greg Halford teed up Paterson, who opened his body and found the bottom corner.
Paterson’s second came just six minutes later. Henri Lansbury played creator this time, squaring the ball for Paterson, who stroked home confidently with a first-time effort.
Paterson’s hat-trick came with 11 minutes to go when he raced into the area, shuffled into a shooting position as defenders stood off and deposited neatly into the bottom corner.