The colourful character that is Steve Evans kept a packed room entertained with stories from his career and a question and answers session last night.
The Mansfield Town boss was the star attraction for ‘An Evening With Steve Evans’ in the club’s 1861 Suite at the One Call Stadium.
Looking very relaxed, Evans was first interviewed by the club’s head of media Mark Stevenson before taking a selection of questions from the floor.
Click HERE to see a video summary of the night
Time ran out on hopes of fitting all the questions in, but fans whose contributions weren’t answered were promised they would be replied to via the club web site by the end of the week.
Chad were there with Chad Stags Facebook Live bursts and a post-meeting summary from Chad Sports Editor John Lomas with the whole night available to view to Stags PlayerHD subscribers this afternoon.
Evans began by taking about his own playing career, curtailed by a knee injury. He was signed by ex-Stags boss Ian Greaves at Bolton but, failing to make it there, returned home to play for several Scottish League sides.
His managerial successes at Crawley Town and Rotherham United followed with fans particularly enjoying the tale of Crawley’s famous FA Cup trip to Manchester United where Evans inadvertently bought Sir Alex Ferguson a particularly expensive bottle of red wine.
The interval gave the manager no respite as Evans smiled for photographs and gave autographs to a queue of fans.
On Mansfield Town and the current season, he admitted there was no room for a bad spell and said League Two was the hardest division to get out of as sides were very even, but he admitted he was a ‘promotion expert’ and had ambitions of taking Stags into the Championship.
He also admitted the one thing he had learned as a manager was that you needed to be lucky.
He believed his team were ‘born’ on January 1st and, although now playing catch-up on points which he described as ‘pushing water uphill’, he felt the side would get better as his new signings regained the match sharpness lost with the other clubs.
And Evans told fans that, if they do get into the play-offs this season, he is confident they can win them.
He said if they failed, fans should definitely get to the bookies next season, and assured everyone that when he and Paul Raynor eventually leave Mansfield Town, they will leave it with a better team and bigger attendances than when they arrived.
Stags fans were delighted to hear that Evans was already a big fan of midfield tiger Jamie McGuire and his infectious enthusiasm and assured everyone that once his playing career was over, McGuire would be considered for a place on the backroom team.
Evans also said it was ‘absolutely massive’ that Stags produce their own players to give them identity and affinity with the club.
His number one dream team to manage would be Celtic, though he’d be very happy to manage Rangers and sign bad players to get them relegated! He also said he would love to manage Scotland one day.
Ronaldo would be his dream signing while the best players he had worked with were Paul Gascoigne, in the twilight of his career at Boston United, and Leeds youngster Ronaldo Vieira, who he took there from non-League.
During the evening, members of the Stags Supporters Association also handed over their latest donation to the club, a cheque for £10,000.