Rotherham United: Millers boss and his Fergie inspiration

Rotherham United's Manager Steve Evans ''Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport''Football
Rotherham United's Manager Steve Evans ''Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport''Football
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There were a lot of people who didn’t want Steve Evans as Rotherham United manager when Tony Stewart made the appointment two years ago in April 2012.

A lot seems to have been crammed into that short time during which Evans has had much said about him, not a lot of it too good unless you happen to have hitched your star to what almost seems a runaway wagon.

On Sunday, at Wembley, Evans will be aiming for what, effectively for him, will be a fourth successive promotion.

He took Crawley out of the Conference and they were heading straight up out of League Two at the first attempt when he landed himself the Rotherham job a few games from the end of that season.

Of course, his first season with the Millers saw promotion into League One and Evans finds himself with the opportunity of another promotion in the League One Play-off Final against Leyton Orient at Wembley.

A favourite phrase - and it has been used by players past and present - is that he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But the bottom line is results and, above all, winning football matches and Evans has got his teams to win football matches. Regularly.

His touchline reputation, with its passionate animation and confrontational style, goes before him. His berating of referees has made him the scourge of the men in black.

Behind the scenes they tell of fearsome rollickings. If you don’t pull your weight, then woe betide you.

When Sir Alex Ferguson gave his players a blast, they dubbed it “the hair-dryer”. Nobody has come up with one for Evans yet. Fireman’s hose, perhaps.

Ferguson, a fellow Glaswegian, is idolised by Evans who admits he is, an inspiration. An inspiration too has been Neil Warnock - another whose touchline manner, particularly in his formative years, garnered little popularity. But he too was a winning manager; promotion on top of promotion.

“You are employed to win matches and that is what Sir Alex did and what Neil Warnock did and what Steve Evans is trying to emulate,” said the Millers manager.

Is Evans the next Warnock? Could he be the lower-division Fergie? “There are people, good people in football, who have said I do remind them of Sir Alex but I would be reluctant to say that,” said Evans. “I think I have got similar characteristics and, having been fortunate enough to speak to him, he probably got me thinking outside the box in the way to deal with things. To be successful, you have to have a ruthless element.

“To be mentioned in the same breath as Neil Warnock in view of all he achieved, well ... and he managed in the Premier League.

“Those people just wanted to win football matches and I’m the same, I have a desire to win and want everyone at the club to have that desire. I am just trying to learn from people like that and from people like Brendan Rodgers and someone who I have spoken to a couple of times, Sean Dyche. They have that belief in what they are doing.”

On his management style he said: “Hard work, desire, an ability to identify players and bring them together plus zero tolerance with any player who does not want to give everything they’ve got.”

He forgot to mention winning.