Ex assistant throws his weight behind Evatt’s bid for the job

Ian Evatt and Steve Eyre at Complexo Desportivo
Ian Evatt and Steve Eyre at Complexo Desportivo
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Chesterfield’s former assistant manager has thrown his weight behind Ian Evatt’s bid to become manager.

Steve Eyre, who has been heavily tipped to form part of Joey Barton’s backroom team at Fleetwood in the coming weeks, believes Evatt has the personality to lead the Spireites and should remain at the club no matter who is appointed.

The two became close during Eyre’s time at the club, which began and ended during Gary Caldwell’s reign as manager.

“Ian obviously has a bit in front of him when it comes to playing, but he loves football and he loves the club,” said the former Manchester City and Huddersfield Town coach.

“His greatest strength is that he’s a people person.

“I saw that with Chris Powell, he won people’s hearts, he’s the one I would jump out of a plane for.

“Ian has that kind of personality and it doesn’t guarantee three points but it certainly helps with getting players to buy in, with leading everyone connected with the club.

“It’s a skill I believe and he’s got it, it makes him a good manager of a club, not just a team.”

Chesterfield’s last two managers were seen as risky appointments due to their relative lack of experience.

Caldwell, albeit the mastermind of a League One title with Wigan Athletic, had managed just 71 games before his arrival at the Proact.

Jack Lester, who departed before the end of this season when the Spireites’ relegation was all but mathematically confirmed, had only managed in a caretaker role at Nottingham Forest.

Eyre says Evatt should not be judged on the club’s recent past and it’s important that they retain him.

“He went and got himself over-qualified 18 months ago to be a coach, while still playing.

“He’s ready for this challenge, I believe he will recruit the right people around him to help and I don’t think he should be judged on previous regimes’ disappointments.

“I don’t think he should be judged after three games with an already-relegated team.

“He should be judged in isolation of others and I’m sure the club will do this.

“It’s important that the club creates a new culture, but the fabric of the club must remain and there’s no better fabric than Ian Evatt.”

A number of highly experienced names have been linked to the job, including bookies’ favourite Martin Allen, ex Town boss John Sheridan and veteran Ronnie Moore.

Eyre believes Chesterfield’s National League status could be a sticking point.

“Anyone perfectly experienced for this job will want to stay in the Football League.

“Old aged experience is not a guarantee for improvement and I believe high energy levels and personality are crucial, having witnessed low energy regimes before.”

The 46-year-old was tight lipped on his own future, which is expected to be confirmed in the next month.

But he’s happy to remain connected to Chesterfield.

A number of Town fans managed to get hold of his number last weekend, sent him videos and sang his name down the phone.

“I loved my time at the club and I’m always willing to help if I can, Ashley (Carson, director) and Ian both know this,” he added.