EXCLUSIVE: Forest legend Andy Reid on how it all started, playing Brazil and working under Billy Davies

Video: Andy Reid on what it was like when Billy Davies was re-appointed as Forest manager

Nottingham Forest legend Andy Reid spoke to Notts TV about how his career started, playing Brazil and what it was really like under Billy Davies.

The former Irish international midfielder made 290 appearances in total for the Reds across two stints at the City Ground scoring 42 goals.

He made his first-team debut for Forest in 2000 where he stayed until 2005 before leaving for Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

Reid then had spells at Charlton, Sunderland, Sheffield United and Blackpool before rejoining the Reds in 2011.

He then announced his retirement at the end of the 2015/16 season following a succession of injuries; Reid also made 29 appearances for his country scoring four times.

This is what Reid had to say appearing on this week’s episode of Team Talk.


“The league I played in back in Dublin was renowned for good players and a lot of players were going over to England on trials and things like that.

I went over on a few different ones and one that came up was Nottingham Forest and I was looked after really well there.

I went on trials at Manchester United and Arsenal and they were good but you would turn up there and there would be 50, 60 kids.

You went to Forest and there were six or seven who were really looked after and I just felt really comfortable, they then wanted to sign me and it was a no-brainer really.

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Andy Reid at Nottingham Forest

I came when Paul Hart took over the youth team from John Perkins, who sadly died last year.

Hart was fantastic at getting his point over to us in a simple way and I’m lucky because the football education I received at a young age in the Forest academy was unbelievable and it stood me in good stead for my career.

I came into football when it was starting to change to a complete turnaround in professionalism – when I started playing, you would see eight, nine of the lads going out for a pint on a Tuesday and it would be nothing different.

By the time I finished, that doesn’t happen, and I’m not saying one is right and one is wrong, there needs to be a balance.

The dietary requirements, the attention to detail and conditioning has all changed.

Players have to be prepared and athletic and if you’re not, others will go out there and run all over you no matter how much ability you’ve got.

When I went to Spurs, some of the standout players I played with were Michael Carrick, Robbie Keane, Ledley King and people like that.

When I played with Ireland I played with Roy Keane, Richard Dunne and Stephen Carr; these were not just great players but they were great characters.

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Andy Reid appearing on Team Talk

I remember one game where we were going out to play Brazil at the time and you look at your players and you think, you know what, we’ve got a chance here.

You just know the mental strength and ability is there – we got a draw against Brazil, we went over to France in a World Cup qualifier and drew when we should have beaten them, we had a really good side.

In my second stint at Forest, in February 2013, Billy Davies returned to manage the club and we weren’t really performing that well and the lads who had worked under him before said he’s good.

I remember speaking to one of the physios who spoke very highly of Billy and he said he’ll know exactly what we need and what to do to win games of football.

That’s what you need as a player – a manager picking his team the right way, playing the right players in the right formations.

It was really enjoyable when he came in as there was a great camaraderie around the place, you’d look forward to coming into training every day.

You knew training was going to be structured towards playing the game on Saturday which is great because you see your progression through the week based on the game and opposition.

You get your hard yards and work in on Monday and Tuesday, have a bit of a break on Wednesday, do shape on Thursday at a lower intensity and then on Friday, a little bit of sharpness getting into the game on Saturday.

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Andy Reid enjoyed working under Billy Davies when he was in charge during his second stint

You get to the game and you know that the team will be fully prepared in the right way, you’ve done all the video analysis which Billy was really good at.

He could pick out weaknesses in teams, their strengths and how we could nullify the team we were playing against and how we can get the ball in the areas we want to hurt other teams.

We went on a great run when he came in – I think it was in his first game we drew with Bolton at home and then second game we beat Huddersfield 6-1 and won six games in a row or something like that.

We narrowly missed out on getting into the play-offs in 2012/13, we missed out on the last day against Leicester and that was disappointing.

We came back with such optimism though for 2013/14 and everything was rosy – we got off to a really good start.

With the team we had, we felt we had a good opportunity of getting promoted but we picked up a few injuries which affected results and then things didn’t go well between Billy and the owner and the press and it was a shame the way it turned out.

That year was really enjoyable though – I was getting on a little bit at the time and it was interesting to work under billy; I learnt a lot from his coaching methods and man management style along with a few things you wouldn’t do as well.”

For more from Andy, watch the April 19 episode of Team Talk on our catch-up service by clicking here.

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