Rotherham United: Tony Stewart dismissess Steve Evans Posh switch

Steve Evans
Steve Evans
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Manager Steve Evans stressed how much he loves being manager of Rotherham United.

But he didn’t categorically rule himself out of contention if Peterborough come calling - as the bookmakers certainly believe they will - after firing Darren Ferguson.

Evans has back-to-back promotions on his Millers CV, is on course to keep them in the Championship and treasures his relationship with chairman Tony Stewart.

Yet rumours are inevitably surfacing as the Millers manager has personal connections in the Peterborough area and is friends with Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony and director of football Barry Fry

“I know nothing about it. My focus is on doing a job here and my focus is on Watford,” said Evans whose side play the Hornets at Vicarage Road tonight.

“I understand where the speculation comes from. I have good relationship with the chairman down there and with Barry Fry.”

Stewart said last night his manager is going nowhere and revealed he would be offended if Peterborough - a club with whom the Millers enjoy a good relationship - made an approach.

Evans added: “If there is an interest in Steve Evans they’d be ringing Tony Stewart. That’s where they’d direct their phone calls. If there’d been any call to me from any member of Peterborough that was significant about taking me away from here I would direct them to our leader.”

The bookies quote Evans at 2-1 for the London Road vacancy, but he recalled also being the betting favourite for the Sheffield Wednesday and Leyton Orient jobs during his Millers tenure.

He added: “I can’t deal with ‘what ifs’. What if Celtic come? It doesn’t mean I’ll go, does it. All I can say is I work for a great man in Tony Stewart. He’s not just my chairman and my boss, he’s one of my best friends along with Paul Rayner (Millers No 2).

“I’m not so sure there will be an approach. Every one is getting carried away with it. If there is an approach I’ll deal with that properly, and we’ll deal with that properly.”

“I’ve got a fantastic job at a fantastic club, I work for a great man. I represent the most wonderful supporters, and there are not many managers who wouldn’t want to be a part of that.”

Meanwhile, skipper Craig Morgan is 100 per cent fit for tonight, having missed out last Tuesday against Derby County through illness and making only the bench for the weekend defeat at Wolves.

“Craig is a top professional and puts everything into his training,” said Evans.

“We watched him train before Wolves and felt he looked a little sluggish as we waited for the effects of his illness to clear.

“Kirk Broadfoot did so well against Derby we decided to keep him in.”

The Millers travelled to Watford yesterday with a 19-man squad, with only injured midfielder Lee Frecklington, staying at home.

Evans is wary of the threat the Hornets will pose after losing 3-0 at home to fellow play-off contenders Norwich City at the weekend.

“We’re up against a wounded side,” he warned. “They have some wonderfully talented players. The three up front, Troy Deeney, Odion Ighalo and Matej Vydra, are probably all capable of going on to play at a higher level.”

The Rotherham boss is glad to be back in action so quickly as the club looks to put the loss at Wolves behind them.

“Ideally, you want to be back playing again,” he said. “We need to get our energy levels back, so it’s important that we get the players training and then give them a rest ahead of Watford because it’s a big pitch.

“The lads came in Sunday. They were a bit down, they were suffering the after-affects, and it’s up to me to lift them.”

The Millers hope to have Jack Hunt available tonight.

Hunt, on loan from Premier League Crystal Palace until the end of the season, missed out against Wolves with a knee injury.

But Evans revealed he could have played him in an emergency and expects him to be fully recovered for this evening.

“Jack has been signed with the intention of him playing a big part for us,” Evans said.

Right-sided Hunt has yet to complete a full match since his January switch.