Steve Evans: Rotherham United manager targets promotion after ‘amazing’ return

Steve Evans: Rotherham United manager targets promotion after ‘amazing’ return

19 April 2024 0 By Total Football News
Rotherham football manager Steve Evans
Steve Evans first won promotion with Rotherham in 2013

New Rotherham United manager Steve Evans has called his return to the relegated Championship club “amazing”.

Evans and assistant Paul Raynor, who has also been restored, left for Leeds United with Rotherham 20th in the Championship in September 2015.

“This club means the world to me,” said Evans. “It’s amazing to be back.”

The 61-year-old has remained friends with Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart since his departure, having overseen a second-placed finish at the New York Stadium in League Two in 2012/13 and victory in the League One play-offs the following season, as well as second-tier safety in 2014/15.

“I’ve said before that it’s ‘once a Miller, always a Miller,'” he reflected. “It’s stopped a couple of approaches from other clubs in this part of the world because I could not manage them.

“I’ve been back here many times but I never thought the opportunity to be manager again would come. It only presented itself on Wednesday, when I got permission to speak to the chairman.

“We came in yesterday morning with the boys and walked out in the stadium and looked around.

“There are lots of memories, some magical moments. I’ve been back in the town for two days now and the support from people has been incredible. I’m so keen to bring them a winning football team.”

Rotherham football manager Steve Evans and chairman Tony Stewart
Evans and chairman Tony Stewart celebrated at Wembley after Rotherham beat Leyton Orient in the 2013/14 League One play-off final

Rotherham appointed Richardson in December after a delay of almost a month following their sacking of Matt Taylor.

The League One promotion winner with former club Wigan Athletic could not rescue a dismal campaign which included the frequent unavailability of training facilities because of waterlogged surfaces.

“It’s been a really depressing season for everyone associated with the club,” said Evans, describing Rotherham’s total of four wins from 43 league matches as “unthinkable”.

“To say the fans have got frustrated is totally understandable. They won’t be frustrated from now on – our job is to win matches.

“We want our players to play with a confidence and a swagger. The chairman expediated bringing me in to assess what we have got here, as he did last time.

“He expects us to be challenging. I can serve notice to people now: we will be challenging for promotion next season.”

Stevenage came second in League Two under Evans last season and are ninth in League One after a run of one win in 10 games.

One of Evans’ first acts in charge of Rotherham has been to swap the home and away dugouts to move him closer to the kop where the loudest proportion of home supporters tend to be.

The Scot, who has a reputation for animated behaviour and has occasionally been the subject of disciplinary action, was perhaps best remembered during his first spell for charging down a flank in wild celebration after striker Alex Revell scored a remarkable volley during the 2014 League One play-off final.

“The club hasn’t changed, in so much as it has the best stadium in Yorkshire and it’s desperate for success,” he said.

“Have I changed? I’m more analytical and more thoughtful. I’m still going to be appealing and screaming for decisions around the penalty box.

“The one thing I’d say to the fans is just give me a chance. It’s my job to bring the Rotherham DNA back.

“If we do that, the fans will be on the edge of their seats and celebrating last-minute winners and promotion.”

This article was originally posted on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/68859372