‘Barrow gave me the opportunity to manage a football club, Chesterfield didn’t’ - Ian Evatt prepared for emotional Proact return

Ian Evatt will not have his contract renewed.
Ian Evatt will not have his contract renewed.
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Ian Evatt is prepared for an emotional return to the Proact Stadium, along with a few other familiar faces.

The former Chesterfield defender, who was made caretaker boss at the end of last season, brings his Barrow side to the Proact on Saturday.

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Barnet v Chesterfield FC; 05/05/2018 KO 15:00; The Hive Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Ian Evatt thanks the travelling fans after defeat at Barnet

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Barnet v Chesterfield FC; 05/05/2018 KO 15:00; The Hive Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Ian Evatt thanks the travelling fans after defeat at Barnet

Alongside him will be fellow ex Spireites Sam Hird, who recently joined the Bluebirds from Alfreton, Josh Kay, physio Callum Walters and analyst Lewis Duckmanton. Evatt is relishing the chance to come back to the club where he spent seven years, over two spells. I’m really excited about coming on Saturday, for lots of reasons,” he said.

“I had a fantastic relationship with the club, all you media guys, the supporters and I’m looking forward to seeing everybody. I’ve got a lot of friendly faces there, my family will all be there. Myself, the physio, my analyst, we all live in Chesterfield.

“Then you’ve got Sam who was a big part of the club for many years, Josh was there.

“It brings a closeness to the game. I never really got a chance to say goodbye to the fans, so it’ll be emotional.”

Chesterfield v Fleetwood Town. Players celebrate after Chesterfield won the League 2 Championship. Captain Ian Evatt with the trophy

Chesterfield v Fleetwood Town. Players celebrate after Chesterfield won the League 2 Championship. Captain Ian Evatt with the trophy

But once the reintroductions are made before kick-off, Evatt and his team are out to hand John Sheridan the first defeat of his second stint as Chesterfield manager.

He knows just how desperate his old employers will be to send Barrow home empty handed.

“Times have changed, we’ve moved on,” he said.

“My job is to get results for Barrow.

“We’ll be going there to do our best to get three points, take all the emotion out of the game and concentrate on the job in hand.

“He’s a very good manager, very experienced and he’ll have them organised, playing the way he wants them to play and it’ll be a very difficult game.

“I can’t really believe I’m saying this but Chesterfield are fighting for their lives, they need results.

“They’ll be going all out to beat us.

“I have to make sure my team are prepared properly and we go to attack, play with freedom like we do normally and get all three points.”

Things could have turned out very differently for both Evatt and the Spireites.

He wanted the manager’s job after relishing his spell as caretaker, but Town went with Martin Allen instead.

The 37-year-old, who believes his side should be higher than their current 12th place position in the National League, insists he’s not out to prove any personal points. I think I’ve already done that. I think whoever doubted I couldn’t be a manager, any Barrow fan or member of my board will tell you they’re really pleased with the job I’m doing.

“My remit was very different to what we’re achieving now.

“I’m ambitious, the bigger picture is I want to manage as high as I possibly can. This is a fantastic learning curve for me. Barrow gave me the opportunity to manage a football club, Chesterfield didn’t.

“That’s where it ends, I need to move on, keep pushing us up the table and you never know what the future holds.”