OWLS assistant manager Chris Evans sees a brighter future for the club and insists that the message for everyone is: “Let’s be positive.”
Evans, a key figure in the club’s new scouting operation, believes that the foundation is now being laid for a great revival at the club though the immediate aim is pulling further away from the relegation zone.
He points out that Gary Megson has had little chance to put his own stamp on the squad so far but has been fair in giving opportunities to players.
And the challenge for players old and new for the rest of the season is to show they deserve to be part of the long-term Hillsborough revolution.
Evans also says that the players are responding to that challenge
“I personally believe that the club must be forward thinking,” said Evans. “That greatly outweighs talking about the past.
“We have 30 points to play for. The manager hasn’t had much of an opportunity to put his stamp on the team yet, as he came after the January window had closed.
“He has a proven record of success. He knows the template for a winning mentality and a winning team.
“The question therefore to his staff and his players is: ‘If I know the way forward, are you coming with me?’
“He has been looking at all the players and given them a fair chance.
“The quality that all leaders have is honesty. The manager has been honest with the players, the chairman and the fans.
“And there’s a great feeling about the place. The players are up for it. There has been a terrific feeling on the training ground. The lads are responding. What he’s saying is ‘I’m giving you the opportunity. Let’s see what you can do’.”
“It’s roll your sleeves up’ time. For the club, for the players on loan and for those who have been here for a number of years, it is a very important time.
“We work on the strengths and accept the areas that may want development, and we do our level best to leave no stone unturned. The players are desperate to do well.
“There are 10 games left.
It’s not a time to talk the talk. It’s a time to walk the walk. The players and the management team are a unit. We have to go forward together, We stand shoulder to shoulder. The manager desperately wants to take the club where its owner and the fans want to go. I, like the manager, will work hard to achieve that.”
The immediate aim is a win at Dagenham tomorrow but Evans is also looking to the longer term. The new scouting netwrook, which he is directing, will give the club nationwide coverage.
“If we are saying that players are the most important thing, then the ability to identify them and recruit them has to be hugely important,” he said.
“For me, the fact that we have had not enough scouts here beggars belief.
“In this last two or three weeks, we have worked hard, and I personally have taken an interest, in ensuring that the club is far more consolidated.
“Since I have been here, I have looked to re-energise the club into being more competitive, with chief scouts, oher managers and domestic and international agents.”
DAGGERS (possible): Roberts, Ogogo, Ilesanmi, Arber, Doe, Gain, Green, Vincelot, Scannell, Nurse, Savage (4-4-2).
OWLS (possible): O’Donnell, M Morrison, Batth, R Jones, Reynolds, J Johnson or Coke, Osbourne, O’Brien, Miller, Teale, Madine (4-5-1)
Steve Rushton (Staffs): Sent off Dagenham midfield player Peter Gain for a foul as the Daggers drew 1-1 at Oldham in Februay. Also handled the Owls’ 2-0 home win against Rochdale in November.