WHEN Steve Evans took over at Rotherham United, he said he wanted to get out and meet the fans and tell it as it is. He has been true to his word.
Considering that he wasn’t a universally popular choice at the time of his appointment, he had some bridges to build and some convincing of the doubters to undertake.
It’s fair to say that they are putting out the welcome signs on the other side of new bridges and Evans continues to integrate with the fan base and anyone else who wants to come listen and question.
He won over many people at a packed Millers Trust Fans’ Forum a few weeks after his appointment in April. He has been out and about more or less since at dozens of meetings in pubs and clubs.
After the opening game at the New York Stadium against Barnsley, he was off to a pub not far away to present the awards that night to the town’s top Sunday side; his latest meeting tonight is speaking to Rotherham United Nostalgia Society who long since got rid of all the tickets for the event.
“It is important to integrate with the fans - how valuable are these people - and they deserve to be spoken to and get answers not be ignored,” said Evans.
“I’ve been honest with them. I don’t think I say anything that might compromise people but I always think that if you’re honest then they can take it, good or bad.
“If they ask questions then they want honest answers not someone going round the houses. It’s not always ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but they deserve an answer - they didn’t get many answers before did they?
“My aim is to be open, up front and honest with them. I don’t expect abusive questions but I certainly look to answer what I’m asked.”
But it’s a two-way thing as well as fans have found out.
At a reserve team match the Monday after his first game in charge at Shrewsbury, Evans stopped to chat to some surprised fans. They were even more surprised when he asked them what they thought about the performance!
“We’re all in this journey together and I want fans to know they’re part of it,” added Evans who holds an open training session at the NY Stadium next Tuesday (11.30).