The appointment of Steve Evans as Leeds United head coach on Monday may have been met with some disappointment from fans of the Elland Road side, but he gave an impressive performance when meeting the press for the first time on Tuesday.
For Leeds fans looking to take something from his conference, here are the five things we learned:
Promotion is already on Evans’ mind
Evans mentioned that people had pointed out that even if he gets Leeds promoted, they’d get relegated again the next season. “Not a chance,” replied the new head coach, who believes that once the club gets some momentum, it will be difficult to stop. Evans has clearly been thinking about promotion already, and said that “the minimum” for Leeds should be the Premier League. This is not to say Evans claimed it would happen this season, simply that it’s already clearly a consideration for the former Rotherham United man.
Evans is enamoured with Leeds United
Leeds are often referred to as the great sleeping giant of English football, and Evans clearly agrees with that assessment. He spoke about the reaction of fellow managers, and the fact that Craig Brown, the former Scotland manager, was keen to point out how big a job Evans had taken on. He also spoke effusively about the fact that he had met Peter Lorimer, and his sheer excitement that he was managing the club of Lorimer, Eddie Gray and Billy Bremner. He was clear about the size of the job he’s taken on: “You could do a straw poll from here to China, but there’s only one biggest club in the Championship.”
Evans could have had another job on Thursday
Evans dropped it in as though it was common knowledge, but very few people know that a Championship side approached him about taking a job last week. In fact, it’s not even clear which side it could be, given the only appointment over the last seven days was Neil Redfearn at Rotherham. However, he openly admitted that it was not the right job for him, which says something else - he views the Leeds United job as the right one.
Positive news about Liam Cooper and the mystery of Charlie Taylor’s virus
When Liam Cooper limped off in Leeds’ clash against Brighton on Saturday, it looked exceptionally unlikely that he would feature again any time soon. Any attempt to put weight on his knee caused him clear pain. Evans chose to drop the news in like a magician performing a prestige, knowing that it would surprise fans and the press to hear that Cooper was bound for Fulham on Wednesday, and would feature then or on Saturday for certain. Charlie Taylor, on the other hand, has been struck down by a mysterious virus. While he may feature in the next few weeks, there was a worrying reference to his spleen.
The increased prominence of Martyn Glover
Where previous press conferences have been dominated by recently suspended owner Massimo Cellino, Evans took a seat next to head of recruitment Martyn Glover. Glover could prove an invaluable link between Evans and the club’s board, especially as Evans clearly has no interest in club politics. Glover’s not been in the public eye since he was originally appointed, when he did a short interview on the radio, but he might have to take on a more prominent role, given the lack of football experience at the club. Evans will be hoping Glover can nail the key aspect of his job heading into January, with both admitting there is possibility for signings.