STEVE EVANS has been quick to profess his satisfaction at his summer transfer recruitment – and he has extra reason for a sense of well-being too.
Namely the acquisition of vastly-experienced coach Eric Black, whose arrival could prove every bit as significant as the signing of a number of key recruits in his close-season business, according to the Millers chief.
At the end of last season, Evans referred to the Millers’ need to evolve at Championship level, hinting at some key backroom additions, with Black subsequently arriving as first-team coach.
Black will be in the dug-out for the first time in a competitive match at the AESSEAL New York Stadium this afternoon and Evans feels his signing is pivotal.
Evans said: “Eric has been brilliant. I have known him for 20 years and always respected him and seen him work on a number of occasions when I have gone to visit clubs – like way back when he was at Birmingham with (Steve Bruce).
“I worked over a couple of months to convince Eric to join us and we hope that he will be part of our management team for a long time.”
Today’s opponents MK Dons, alongside the Millers, are ranked as the favourites for relegation, but Evans believes they – like his own side – have plenty of quality and are more than capable of punching above their weight.
And while many might venture that a home appointment with Karl Robinson’s side doesn’t represent the most daunting fixture on paper, Evans believes it remains a tough prospect.
Evans said: “They are full of good players and play football in the proper way. If you went on a weekly level and watched it (League One) last season, I think not many people would disagree that MK Dons were the best playing side.
“I don’t think any manager in the Championship would pick to play against a promoted team (first up). I remember Steve McClaren’s words before we went to Derby last season when he said if he could pick an opening-day fixture, then he wouldn’t pick a promoted team at home.
“His words were probably true and we went there with eight or nine players who had come out of League Two who were with us over two years and had a real enthusiasm.
“And that’s what the MK Dons boys will display here.”
Evans, waiting on an answer from a loan target at a Premier League club, will reveal his new captain shortly before kick-off today.