SOME call him a ‘madman’ on the touchline but, whatever the description, things have been stirring since Rotherham United manager Steve Evans got back within bawling distance.
The six game stadium ban certainly hurt him deeply. How much it affected his team is pure conjecture.
Of the six games he missed (four home, two away) the results were two wins, two draws, two defeats for a return of eight points.
Since he got back to the dug-out at Aldershot, they have had four straight wins plus a draw at Fleetwood on Tuesday that would have been a fifth win but for some marvellous goalkeeping during the second half.
Evans’ often ferocious touchline style divides opinion but it is his way, his style.
He promised improvement when the ban ended, stung particularly by a performance in the final match of the ban (a 3-0 home defeat to Southend) in which accusations were made that not enough effort had been put in in some positions. The Evans’ strength, in addition to recruiting good players, is in his motivational capabilities and, whether it’s popular or enjoyable, he tasks himself with getting results.
“The chairman, Tony Stewart, brought me in because he wants me to be in people’s faces, driving people on to their maximum and I’m going to do that with every one of those players,” said Evans.
“Some think shouting and bawling is over-reacting but the opposite is under-reacting. That’s turning the mike off. Saying you don’t give a damn. Well, I certainly do.
“I say take the shouting and bawling out of it but grab hold of the content because the content is normally right.
“Last season, people pointed fingers at people and they weren’t picked for six months after that. Well, that’s not me. We point fingers and we pick them again.
“On Tuesday, I blamed Ian Sharps for the goal, explained why, and he put his hands up and accepted it.
“But Ian Sharps was absolutely top drawer in that game and I’ll tell you what, Ian Sharps will be playing on Saturday.”
He added: “The type of player Steve Evans signs has to have a Steve Evans style of manager.
“We saw real effort, passion and a level of commitment on Tuesday and our fans recognised that yet we’re still a work in progress with a lot to get right.”
The Millers are at Dagenham on Saturday.