I haven’t had time to think about future, insists Evans

Chris Evans
Chris Evans
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Sheffield Wednesday assistant manager Chris Evans has revealed he could follow Gary Megson out of Hillsborough.

The Owls No 2, who had worked with axed Megson for five years at Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League and at Hillsborough, was in charge of Saturday’s draw at Spotland.

New manager Dave Jones joined chairman Milan Mandaric in the Rochdale directors’ box to take a watching brief as his new charges showed plenty of endeavour but lacked a cutting edge in front of goal.

It capped an emotional rollercoaster of a week for the Owls, which had started so promisingly with victory in the Steel City derby.

Then came last Wednesday night’s bombshell that Megson had been sacked, swiftly followed by the appointment of Jones, and Evans was tasked with trying to galvanise a dressing room – the majority of whom Megson brought to Hillsborough in his 12 months in charge – stunned by the change of manager.

Asked about his future, Evans replied: “I will take time to reflect, I need to consider my own future. I have enjoyed my work at Sheffield Wednesday, but today is not about me.

“I haven’t had time to think about myself, I’ve not even considered myself. I haven’t had the chance.

“It’s now a time for Dave Jones, I wish him well. He comes in and inherits a team which is in third, when sometimes the team is at the other end of the table when a change is made. There’s a lot of good things going on at Wednesday; I am sure Dave will take heed of that.

“I thought the players were terrific, a credit to themselves, their families, the staff and the 3,000 fans that travelled to watch them at Rochdale.

“It’s been a difficult week, we have had to regroup, and all credit to the players – they have been outstanding. To a man, they gave everything.”

Asked whether the Owls players had been hurt by Megson’s departure, Evans responded: “Players are subject to emotions, they are human. In football, it’s a game that always surprises you.

“The following morning after the change, I got the players together, and what I said to them was that change isn’t made in the dressing room, it is made up above.

“The players are human beings at the end of the day. There has been change from the top and players cannot affect that change.

“But they went out there and did themselves proud. They ran, they fought, they battled and chased. I am disappointed we didn’t take all three points.

“We had 10 corners, more chances, and it would have been a tragedy if we had lost that game.”

Both Evans and club captain Rob Jones praised outgoing boss Megson, whose name was chanted by the large away following at Spotland in the first half.

Megson was sacked after Mandaric became concerned at a poor run of results, just two wins from 10 before the Steel City derby eight days ago.

But Evans is convinced Megson will not be out of work for long.

“I have worked with Gary Megson for five years, at Bolton Wanderers and here, and it would be remiss of me not to pay tribute to the work he has done at Sheffield Wednesday,” said Evans.

“It’s obviously a club close to his heart: a childhood fan, player, his father was obviously a club legend, and I hold Gary Megson in the highest esteem.

“He has a good future in football, I rate him highly. His services, I am sure, are going to be much sought after.

“But a change has been made, and I said to the players changes are made above us, what we have to do is make sure how you react.

“What we are good at is playing football, and I felt the reaction that they gave me was a tribute. It would have been an absolute travesty if we had lost that game.

“In difficult circumstances, it’s been a decent day.”

Owls captain Rob Jones, one of numerous players brought to Hillsborough by Megson, said the sacking was “a difficult one to take”.

He added: “It’s been a strange week, one full of all sorts of emotions. We came off the derby win, where emotions are sky-high, and come Wednesday you find you no longer have a manager. It’s a difficult one to take.

“I have a lot of time for the man (Megson), got on very well with him. He brought me to the club and made me captain of the football club. I owe him an awful lot.

“I don’t want to get drawn into anything, I am a player. People upstairs make decisions off the field; I, as captain, make the decisions on the field.

“I am disappointed we have lost our manager, but we have a new manager now, a new era at the football club, one where we have 12 games to go. We have got to work hard and get as many points as possible to fulfil our aim.

“But, as footballers, we just have to get on with it. We have done (at Rochdale), have been unlucky at times and we could have come away with three points.

“We now have a new manager, we met him Friday, and spoke to him after the game. He will have his ideas of the way to go forward.

“It seems like exciting times for Sheffield Wednesday, but we are footballers, we just get told what to do. We get on with training, playing games, because that’s what we are paid to do.”

Dave Jones will take charge of tomorrow night’s home game against Bury with the Owls having closed the gap on second-placed Sheffield United to four points after the Blades lost 3-2 at home to Oldham.

The former Cardiff City manager has already been linked with one of his former players on a loan deal, striker Rob Earnshaw seen as providing a possible solution to Wednesday’s goalscoring problems.

Earnshaw has started just once for the Bluebirds this year, scoring in the FA Cup defeat at West Brom, although he did play for Wales as a second-half substitute last week against Costa Rica.

At Saturday’s final whistle the new manager spoke in the dressing room and Evans believes there is plenty of optimism for the final 12 games of the season’s promotion push.

“I spoke with Dave early doors and he said he didn’t want to have any involvement (on Saturday), which is understandable,” said Evans. “Dave didn’t address the players before the game, wasn’t there at half-time, and after the game when I had spoke to the players it was only proper that Dave said a few words, which he did.

“What Dave wanted to do was come and watch. He gave them a lot of praise, he thought there was a lot to be pleased about.

“We have two home games now next week and it’s a good opportunity for Dave to come in and take the reins at the start of a new era.”