ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Steve Evans meets a good friend in Neil Redfearn this lunchtime – and admits he sympathises with the working conditions he operates under with owner Massimo Cellino.
Evans heads to Elland Road with Championship safety assured, although it remains to be seen if he swaps his customary match-day suit for beach wear and a sombrero as he quipped that he may do after Tuesday’s priceless win over Reading confirmed the Millers’ second-tier status for next season.
It is an afternoon that the Scot can savour with Millers fans looking forward to their summer holidays with a smile on their faces after the club clinched safety after a troubled April.
Evans said: “I look forward to seeing Redders and going to Elland Road. It’s always a place where I have wanted to take a team and I get the honour of doing that now.
“It will be nice to catch up with Redders. From a distance, I’m a good friend of his. I wish he had the type of chairman (owner) that I’ve got.”
On his attire today, Evans, who says his side – despite clinching their divisional status – are intent on putting on a good display and not short-changing supporters, added: “It won’t look very good!
“But, yes, I’ll have my shorts on and my T-shirt. I’ll be looking to see if I can buy a sombrero somewhere! But we also have a responsibility to our supporters. The supporters are paying hard-earned money. It’s £36 a ticket to go to Leeds.
“So our supporters will want us to go there and put on a good display. When we go and clap them at the end of the season, they will know we’ve given them everything and more.”
Today’s appointment marks another landmark in terms of Evans’s managerial career against a club whom he saw against his boyhood side Celtic in 1970. Evans said: “It’s a place I’ve always wanted to take a team.
“I spoke highly about the place earlier in the season and people thought I was touting for the job. I don’t want the Leeds job!
“I spoke about Celtic playing Leeds United and the Scottish connection Leeds have got.
“I’ve met Peter Lorimer four times. He won’t remember, will he? I remember every one of them. I’ve still got three of the photos. I look forward to going there, but I’m going there to see if I can get Rotherham United a good finish to the season.”
Rotherham’s David Fellowes has won the Championship’s groundsman of the year award.