A great deal of old crony bollocks has been spoken about Hughton's departure, mostly from Chris Sutton, who reckons the players should be ashamed of themselves for playing so poorly under their previous manager. He could have reminded himself that "playing so poorly under their previous manager" might just have something to do with the previous manager himself, but poor Sutton has long been a stranger to common sense. Anyway, we don't know whether it was Steven Reid's influence or the simple relief of slipping off the Hughton shackles that inspired Forest to perform as they did against Uddersfeel. We suspect it was the kit.
I mean, wearing a blood and custard kit is a bit of a statement, isn't it? You could have forgiven Forest for keeping the lowest of profiles as they prepared for what most of us feared would be their seventh defeat of the season. But no, not this lot. Out they trotted as cocky as you like with their luminescent finery blazing in the sunshine. It made Uddersfeel's shirts look like tired deck chair canvases.
Having gained the sartorial advantage, Forest quickly went about intimidating Uddersfeel with their energy and movement. Everything about them was so vivid you literally couldn't take your eyes off them. Was this really Forest on the front foot, pressing high, forcing mistakes, playing with confidence and aggression? Were those Forest full backs and centre backs breaking forward to put the fear of God into their opponents? Never have deck chairs looked so confused.
And there was Baby Johnson, looking bigger and taller and stronger than he ever did in plain red, surging from his own half down the right wing, past some deckchair called Colwill, clipping a fine ball towards Grabban who was (a) easily spotted because of the kit and (b) in the place a striker should be. Grabban stooped to bury his header in the Uddersfeel net, a goal of such beauty he had to kick the advertising boards to reassure himself, and us, that he wasn't dreaming. Do you remember the early days of differently coloured boots? Pundits would make remarks like "If you wear them, you'd better be good". Well, Forest were wearing blood and custard, and they were very good indeed.
In the grey days, Forest would have pulled back to their default defensive positions and waited for their opponents to skirt round them and score two goals. But this was a full colour day, and Forest tried their hardest to maintain an attacking threat. They were helped in this regard by some very determined midfield and defensive play which consistently wrong footed the deck chairs. Uddersfeel only threatened once, when somebody whose name sounded suspiciously like Corona slipped the ball to somebody whose name sounded suspiciously like Toffo in the Forest penalty area, but Samba was sharp enough to smother the ball. That's the word - sharp. All the Forest players were sharp. They had to be, because there's no hiding place when you're wearing blood and custard.
The second half began in much the same way as the first, with Forest pressing high and keeping possession just outside the Uddersfeel penalty area. Eventually the ball was cut back to Yates, who drove a skidding, spinning shot towards the Uddersfeel goal. Keeper Nicholls stretched to bat away the swerving ball, but Joe Lolley (remember him?) delivered a cunningly deflected shot into the back of the net. Uddersfeel looked bereft, and blamed their inferior kit. Probably.
Uddersfeel still had most of the second half to mount a fightback and they continued to boss possession without doing all that much with it. Holmes saw a desperate shot deflected wide in the final 10 minutes. The Forest players looked knackered, to be honest. They had fought so hard for so long that from the resulting corner they seemed unable to jump to contest Lees header, which thankfully drifted beyond the Forest post.
In this first victory of the season, everybody did their job. Steven Reid set them up brilliantly, the players responded with enormous energy, the fans sang about Derby. But the real hero was the kit. As Winston Churchill once said, "I have nothing to offer you but blood, toil, tears and custard," and how right he was.