Steve Evans’s opposite number in the dugout today is a footballer he happily used to pay to watch.
Edgar Davids is a Champions League winner treading the unusual path of starting his managerial career on the bottom rung of the professional ladder, in England’s fourth tier with lowly Barnet.
The north Londoners have picked up of late and Rotherham manager Evans is relishing welcoming one of the players he so admired.
“He’s a household name in football. I’ve never met the man but I shall welcome him to the New York Stadium and we’ll have a glass of wine after the game,” said Evans.
“He’s one of the guys I’ve paid to see when he came to London with clubs. For me, he was one of the world’s best.
“He’s a terrific talent, his range of passing was unbelievable. He would get the ball and hit a pass that would just be sublime.
“He’s a fantastic player, he’s scored goals in all manner of wonderful stadiums, but I’m not sure he ever scored at Alloa...unless he reads this and takes Barnet north of the border pre-season!”
Regardless of his admiration for Davids, Evans sees Barnet purely as an obstacle to three points Rotherham need to acquire to maintain their position in League Two’s top three.
“You probably have 10 managers laying claim to their chairmen and their fans that they are in the promotion race,” said Evans. “The power months of January and February reduce it to six and ultimately by the time you’re in mid-March you’re looking at three from four.
“We have to make sure we’re in that three from four bracket and that comes down to attitude and tenacity in the squad.
“We certainly have the ability, but unless you have the attitude which brings out the effort and commitment then you don’t get the opportunity to get that talent out.”
Does Evans have that tenacity within his squad? “I’m going to have to constantly crack the whip. This group of young men we have assembled are talented and we would grace League One, but you have to earn the right to be there, and arguably the top seven clubs in League Two right now would grace League One.”