THE last six weeks have been pure, unadulterated torture for Steve Evans.
Since the thumping at Port Vale, the Rotherham United manager has been unable to take his place in the dugout on match-days due to a six-match stadium ban. The Scot was hit with the suspension by the Football Association after they found him guilty of using abusive and insulting words and behaviour with a reference to gender while managing former club Crawley Town in a game at Bradford City in March.
Without their colourful, charismatic leader, the Millers have fallen to 13th in the League Two standings and travel to Aldershot Town tomorrow still looking for their first away win of the season.
Rotherham’s results have dipped and Evans has vowed to make several personnel changes for the trip to the capital following their ‘inept’ performance against Southend United last weekend. Evans was furious with the lack of endeavour the side showed and has told fans to expect a much-improved showing against the Shots, who are second from bottom.
“My players will be in people’s faces on Saturday because I will be in their faces,” he said. “We need to go there and have a work ethic about ourselves. We never had that against Southend. It is probably one of the few times ever where a Steve Evans team has lacked passion, pride, effort and commitment.
“I have been on the end of heavy defeats but I have never ever sat feeling physically sick at people over the lack of effort and passion and that’s what my assistant Paul Raynor and I had to endure last week. That will not be the case this weekend.”
Of his ban, he added: “It has been a nightmare and it would be for any manager. In time, I will speak about it more. I should never have been away. Could you ever imagine a situation where your troops are going on planes or boats and going to a war and the big general has to watch it on television? I don’t think so.”
Kari Arnason has returned unscathed from international duty with Iceland and is in line for a first-team return.
The Shots possess two ex-Millers defenders in Troy Brown and Guy Branston.