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The sun has set on Steve Evans’ sombrero at Rotherham, so what next?

01 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
The sun has set on Steve Evans’ sombrero at Rotherham, so what next?

After back-to-back promotions and a successful battle against relegation, why have the Millers called time on the Scot's tenure in South Yorkshire?

By Joe Mewis

And you thought your Monday morning was bad.

Steve Evans no doubt enjoyed this past weekend, after he led Rotherham to a second straight win to lift the Millers out of the Championship relegation zone and get their season back on track.

But less than 48 hours later he was unceremoniously handed his P45, with Millers chairman Tony Stewart peddling the old “different directions” line as the sun set on the sombrero era at the New York Stadium.

Evans even admitted shedding a tear in the meeting, after a spell that saw him secure back-to-back promotions and win a fight against relegation in his three-and-a-bit season spell in South Yorkshire.

The Scot had brought about the Millers’ most successful period since the Ronnie Moore days of the early noughties, with his wobbly celebration on the Wembley sideline following the League One play-off win in 2014 one of the defining images of recent seasons.

The question on many Millers fans’ lips is why did the chairman Tony Stewart pull the trigger now, just as his team looked to be getting their act together with consecutive wins over Birmingham and Cardiff?

Well, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Evans’ time at the Millers ended this way.

Evans is a complex man with a larger-than-life character and while this big personality was no doubt the catalyst behind his success at the New York Stadium, it also contributed to his departure.

Evans and Stewart obviously had a difference of opinion and, in these cases, the chairman will always trump the manager.

So what next for the Millers?

With all the talk of “different directions” in the statement announcing Evans’ departure, it would seem that Stewart has a plan.

But are any of the likely candidates really a better option than Evans?

The bookmakers’ current favourite is Stuart Gray, who was sacked by Sheffield Wednesday in the summer after guiding the Owls to their best league finish for six years.

In his season-and-a-half at Hillsborough he forged a team which was very hard to beat and with Rotherham likely to be at thick end of another relegation battle this season, he could be a wise choice.

Former Leeds boss Neil Redfearn’s name has also been mentioned, but he would be a riskier appointment.

It is hard to gauge just how good a manager he is given the chaos at Elland Road during his time in charge, especially with his only sustained good run of form coming when assistant Steve Thompson was at the club.

Experienced Championship heads Ian Holloway and Brian McDermott are longer shots for the post (as is former Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio, who is the latest – and most entertaining – name to be linked).

The club hope to get a new man in place before the Millers go to Brentford – who also ditched their boss this week – after the international break.

In the meantime, it is Eric Black in the dugout for Friday’s televised visit of Burnley, who could do the new boss a real favour if he’s to pick up where Evans left off and mastermind a third straight win.

Rotherham v Burnley betting

10/1 – Sam Vokes to score first and Burnley to win

Championship betting