Matt Tubbs has revealed how his past relationship with Steve Evans helped persuade him to relocate to Rotherham United.
The on-loan striker burst onto the scene under Evans at Crawley and spent much of last season at Bournemouth, resisting his former manager’s overtures to link back up with him.
Evans was very public in his pursuit of the 29-year-old and was constantly texting and phoning a man who scored the goals that took Crawley into the Football League.
When Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told Tubbs his game time would be limited on the south coast this season, the player who rose from non-League football chose to look elsewhere and the obvious option was a reunion with Evans.
“He was ringing me and texting me for the last year, and this is the right move for me at this stage of my career,” said Tubbs, who has signed for Rotherham on a loan deal until the end of January.
“I had opportunities to go elsewhere, there were clubs down south who wanted me, clubs further up north as well, but the fact that I’d worked under him before and had such great success with promotion and cup runs was a factor. And love him or hate him, he gets results, and full credit to him.
“I had a very successful spell with him at Crawley, I know the way he works and he knows the way I work.
“I came up here in the summer to have a look around and the stadium’s amazing. Plus, it was the chance to play football. Eddie Howe told me my chances would be slim, so to relocate up north to get a bit of game time was a no-brainer.”
If there had been any doubt about the move, it was dismissed on Tuesday night when Tubbs made his home debut in front of a full house at the New York Stadium, as the Millers ousted local rivals Sheffield Wednesday from the Capital One Cup.
“I wasn’t fully aware of how big a game it was until I walked out of the tunnel and saw seas of red and blue,” said Tubbs, who hopes to be involved again today as Rotherham welcome Preston in League One. “It was a great atmosphere to play in and a good game to be a part of.
“When you take a scalp like Sheffield Wednesday, the next game becomes more important because the League is your bread and butter and, as long as we get the right result against Preston, then it makes the Sheffield Wednesday result a fantastic result, not just a great one.”
Tubbs , who has yet to score in Rotherham colours, added: “Last Saturday was my first bit of game time since mid-April. I have hardly kicked a ball because of injuries, so I just need a goal.”