New Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans is convinced he can ‘do a Rotherham’ and take the Stags into the promised land of the Championship.
The 54-year-old Glaswegian replaced Adam Murray last week and said it had so far been almost deja vu from his decision to join Rotherham, where he took the Millers from League Two into the Championship with back-to-back promotions in 2012-214.
Few Stags fans believed the club could lure the former Leeds United boss to the One Call Stadium, but he has agreed a two and a half year deal with assistant Paul Raynor.
A veteran of an impressive nine promotions, Evans said, with chairman John Radford’s backing, he believes he can take Stags into the Championship.
“I one hundred per cent believe that or I wouldn’t have come,” he said.
“You have to have a plan and a strategy to get there and people are going to knock you along the way.
“It is very unusual to do what we did at Rotherham, to go on and say we are going to be a Championship club very quickly and we managed to achieve that.
“But, in respect of the chairman here, I am going to get the same support here in the transfer market and the dealings when the window opens that I got from Tony Stewart.
“So this can be a Championship club – make no mistake about that.
“I’ll just get us a promotion, let the chairman put another stand over there and then we’ll be ready.”
Evans added: “From the first time I met the Radford family, the chairman and the CEO, it struck me as I drove away from that meeting that it was almost deja vu with the chairman at Rotherham.
“I didn’t drive to meet John Radford with any real thoughts that, yes I am going to take this job. But I didn’t drive to meet Tony Stewart (Rotherham chairman) and the other board thinking I am going to take this job.
“But, if I am being honest, Tony Stewart blew me away. And John Radford did too. So there are a lot of similarities.
“The fan base was similar. What grew the fan base at Rotherham was obviously a new stadium, number one, but more importantly without the back-to-back promotions I would suggest the crowds would not have been very far from what they were before.
“But they are magnificent supporters, and I think Mansfield Town supporters demonstrated how good and how vociferous they can be on Saturday. They were our 12th man, especially in that second half.”
Evans will spend the next few weeks assessing his squad ahead of the January window.
Although the Radfords have promised him money to spend, he has challenged the current players to prove their worth and save the chairman’s money.
“First and foremost, as we all get to know each other, the players and the staff, we have to make sure that we are right in the mix of it come January, and whatever we decide to do in January can be done, whether that’s go forward with what we’ve got,” he said.
“I keep saying nothing would give me more pleasure than looking at everyone in the dressing room and thinking I don’t need to change this because it’s working. If something is working why stop and fix it?”