HE was hurting on Saturday after a heavy defeat, and you can be sure Steve Evans will be hurting before a ball has even been kicked in Rotherham United’s next six games.
The FA stadium ban imposed this week on the Rotherham manager will most certainly have a big effect on him, as it would on any manager who is unable to go and watch his team or have any normal matchday involvement.
A touchline ban is one thing - at least you are sitting up in the stand looking on at the action - but no involvement at all with your team on a matchday is pretty frustrating to say the least.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop Evans meeting the players away from the ground beforehand for a pre-match brief. But not being at the game, not watching events unfold, not being in the dressing room before the game and at half-time to address matters would be agony for any football manager.
Perhaps a one-game absence, say through illness, is tolerable but six games ...
However, Evans’ forthcoming ban pales into considerable insignificance when set against a previous one he served. He was banned from the game for 20 months!
This was at the beginning of 2003 and followed the much-publicised events which had occurred when he was manager at Boston United.
He had led them into the Football League the previous year but the FA launched an investigation into “contract irregularities” which involved the club lodging player contract details
which contained false salary details. Evans was among those punished.
He did return to Boston after the ban was up, eventually leaving in 2007 and joining Crawley. He led them to unprecedented success including two promotions and virtually taking them up to League One last season, leaving a few games before the end to join Rotherham.
His fiery manner on the touchline has
seen him come into conflict with the authorities and he received a 10-match touchline ban one season.
A passionate Scot with a real love for the game and his club, Evans can be a combustible character on matchday although he has, some may find it hard to believe, tempered some of the rasher elements of his touchline behaviour. His urge to drive his team on is unlikely to lessen.
It is a punishing ban and his past may have had some influence when sentence was passed.
It may even make Evans think. It will temper the fire for a bit.
But it certainly will not douse it completely.