Evans forced to make quick switch to Millers

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ROTHERHAM United’s new manage Steve Evans has revealed that he wanted to stay at Crawley Town until the end of the season.

Evans, who will be paraded by the Millers at a press conference at Don Valley Stadium this lunchtime, was on the brink of a second automatic promotion with the Red Devils, who are fourth in League Two.

His new employers had also been willing to wait for his signature but Crawley, who appointed Steve Coppell as director of football yesterday, insisted on an immediate switch.

“I think Rotherham United and I were both very happy to let me see the Crawley project through until the end of the season – but the owners felt that if, in any way, my head was (turned) towards Rotherham United, I would not have full focus on the job,” said Evans.

“That was the only difference of opinion we had and that has allowed me to progress this.

“I know Steve (Coppell) has been friends with the owners and directors for a long time. He’s been at many of their matches and he’s always been very, very complimentary about their performances and their progress as a football club.

“I was privvy to the knowledge that Steve would be coming on board and I’m absolutely delighted for the club, delighted for the fans and I think it’s a really good, true appointment.

“I had a wondefful time working for Crawley and worked for some fantastic people,” he added. “I just hope I can emulate that success at Rotherham United.”

Evans has only four games to close a four-point gap on the top seven and achieve play-off qualification with the Millers this season.

It is going to be a tall order but the 49-year-old is still adamant that his new club is the better long-term bet.

“How far, in my opinion, could I take Crawley? League One certainly. Beyond that? I wasn’t so sure,” he said. “Where can I take Rotherham United? To the Championship.

“You only have to look at the vision of the chairman and the board and where they want to take the football club. If that vision and those plans were not in place, I wouldn’t be here.”

Evans has been accompanied to South Yorkshire by former Huddersfield Town winger Paul Raynor, who worked as his assistant previously at both Crawley and Boston United.

His first game in charge will be Saturday’s away trip to third-placed Shrewsbury Town.

The Millers, meanwhile, have now put season tickets for the newly-built New York Stadium on general sale, having sold over 2,000 to their existing season ticket holders.