Rotherham United: Kop boss inspires Evans to keep on entertaining

Sky Bet League One - Rotherham Utd v Port Vale'Manager Steve Evans points down
Sky Bet League One - Rotherham Utd v Port Vale'Manager Steve Evans points down
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Millers boss Steve Evans says he has received an inspirational message from Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and insists Rotherham United will keep trying to entertain.

“I’ve always taken the approach that I would rather lose matches whilst trying to win them rather than settle for safety-first,” said Evans.

“I have a text from the best manager in the Premier League, whose team are currently top - Brendan Rodgers - and it’s on my phone and I shall be showing people.

“He texted me before Monday’s game and said at the rate we’re going we might catch their goals tally.

“He said: ‘One thing your team has got is a never-say-die attitude’ and that’s from someone looking from a distance.

“We have a go. We’ve become known as the entertainers of League One and the win on Monday with 10 men was further endorsment of that - and when the man at the top of the Premier League tells you that as well then that’s quite an accolade.”

Evans said even his assistant Paul Raynor gave him a querying look when getting instructions at half-time about what they would do in the second half with 10 men - Richie Smallwood had been dismissed, his three match ban taking in the first leg of the play-off semi-final.

“We had a licence to go and win the last two games and I’d rather lose having a go then what happens elsewhere, everybody behind the ball,” added Evans, who switched to 3-3-3 in the bid to win it.

“We could have gone 4-4-1 or 4-3-2 but I said we’ll get up and down and support each other and the players were magnificent. I’ll say it again, they haven’t got the credit they’ve deserved.

“A lot of managers with 15 to 20 minutes to go would have tightened it up but we want to entertain the fans.

“It may be a bit reckless at times, and when the play-offs come then we may be less so, but I think it’s important to go out and try and win games not sit back and hope you can sneak something.”

Kieran Agard’s winner against Port Vale was his 25th of the season. His hat-trick at Wolves was the first by a Miller in a losing cause and it is only the third time they have lost a game 6-4 - the first time was on Christmas Day 1930 at home to Tranmere. The other in 1946 at Gateshead. They have won 6-4 twice - against Cardiff in 1965 and against Cheltenham in 2010.

Rotherham entertain MK Dons on Saturday with Lee Frecklington set to be available. The influential midfielder has missed their last four matches because of a back problem.