Evans out to repay Stewart and fans for loyalty

Steve Evans
Steve Evans
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STEVE EVANS admits to being “flattered” by interest from Sheffield Wednesday, but insists his Rotherham United story has several chapters still to run.

The Owls made an approach late on Monday night for permission to speak to the Glasweigan, but their advances were swiftly rebuffed by Millers chairman Tony Stewart.

Evans, 51, who secured promotion back to the third tier for Rotherham in his first full season at the club in 2012-13 and is in with a fighting chance of emulating Ronnie Moore’s feats in securing back-to-back promotions for the Millers, in 1999-2000 and 2000-01, subsequently pledged his future to the Millers and was happy to do so.

Evans said: “Obviously, there has been a situation where there were meetings with the chairman after a football club made an approach. But I never got into that; in all honesty, it has not affected me.

“I work for a strong chairman and I consider him away from the business of football to be a friend.

“He made it quite clear that the approach from Sheffield Wednesday had been refused and wanted me just to get straight back on with my job.

“When your chairman says that to you, as a manager, you have loyalty and commitment, and I have that not only to the chairman and the board, but the supporters.”

He added: “Obviously, on a personal level, you are always honoured and perhaps a little bit flattered when a club makes an approach for your services.

“Certainly, when it’s a club of the stature of Sheffield Wednesday, you are more than flattered.

“But taking away the flattery, it will mean nothing at 3pm when we are trying to beat Rochdale on Saturday.”

The approach for Evans from Wednesday – who at the start of the Noughties made an abortive move to take ex-Millers boss Moore to Hillsborough – heightened fears among Rotherham fans that the club could lose a manager to a near-neighbour again.

It occurred just four years ago when then-boss Mark Robins left for Barnsley in September 2009.

It also famously happened many years ago when Ian Porterfield – Sunderland’s goalscorer when they shocked Leeds United in the 1973 FA Cup final – moved to Sheffield United in June 1981.

But Evans says his intention was always to stay with the club in his quest to realise the Millers’ mission of a return to Championship football.

He added: “I don’t suppose they have had much loyalty in the past from managers.

“But we started the job here 18 months ago and there’s a long way to go.”