Manager Steve Evans today assured Mansfield Town fans he was going nowhere after confirming he had this week turned down a lucrative offer for a second time to go and work in Qatar.
With seven games to go and Stags a point outside the play-offs, there were panic bells ringing in midweek when rumours of an Evans departure began to surface, not helped by the manager’s ‘no comment’ reply at the time.
But Evans met the press today and explained: “I didn’t want to comment as I didn’t want anyone to get involved in it, but obviously someone has put it out there.
“So the facts are that when I left Leeds United, within a matter of days I was given an opportunity to go out to Qatar.
“Despite it being incredibly, incredibly financially beneficial, I said no at that time. It wasn’t for me. I was going to have a break and come in somewhere in English football where I wanted to be.
“Just under a week ago that opportunity came back again via the guys that look after me, and I said to them at the time, for a second time, that’s not for me.
“I am not going to go there and I am only focused on the job here at hand, which has seven games remaining to take a club into the play-offs that were probably thinking more about fighting to stay up when we arrived.
“We have done a good job – and that’s the players that have done a good job as they have to win the games.
“I am not going anywhere near that opportunity (Qatar), though I am very grateful for it.”
Evans added: “I came out of Leeds and took some time away, and this is perhaps a sign that within football people recognise the job that’s been done.
“It’s been a success story so far here and we want it to continue.
“It comes on the back of a good job at Leeds where we delivered all the objectives, and of course the success we had at Rotherham.
“That’s why it’s come back and we understand why it’s come back. But it’s not for me or my family.”
Evans spoke to chairman John Radford yesterday and the matter has now been put to bed, but he did admit it wasn’t the first offer he’d had since joining Stags – the inevitable legacy of his phenomenal past successes.
Evans said: “My only focus is Exeter City on Saturday. I had a good meeting with the chairman and chief executive yesterday and they were as pleased as I am to keep the focus on Saturday.
“The chairman has had opportunities to have conversations (with other clubs) even since I joined the football club. And I had a number of opportunities to join different clubs when I first came in.
“But there is no point going over old ground as those clubs are actually doing reasonably well now with good managers in place.
“I have seven games left of a season now that one or two people thought we could make a run for the play-offs when we walked in here.
“We are not in them yet. We sit two places off it but we have a big opportunity to bounce into them on Saturday.”