Evans Makes Visit to Playford Road
Saturday, 14th Jan 2012 08:05
Town owner Marcus Evans popped in to Playford Road yesterday on a prearranged visit to lend support to his struggling club and under-pressure manager Paul Jewell. Evans, who is based in Dublin, continues to back Jewell despite the Blues sitting in 20th in the Championship.
Jewell said: “I asked Marcus to come up about three weeks ago. He’s a very busy man, he spends a lot of time out of the country and he’s managed to fit us in today, which is great. He’s come in and having a bit of lunch with us.
“He’s a very low-key owner as far as publicity is concerned but as far as supporting and the long-term vision, he’s top class.”
The Blues boss says Evans visits on a fairly regular basis: “He comes down every so often. It’s nice that he keeps it quiet, he can come down the training ground and come and have a bite to eat and go through what we’re trying to do transfers-wise and in the future.
“I asked him and this is the first available day he’s had. I think he’s probably having lunch with some of the players at the moment.
“Before we started training this morning I told the players ‘If you see a strange man walking on the training ground, don’t worry Chops, it’s the owner’.
“It’s been planned and I speak with him on the phone two or three times a day, so it’s not as if he’s come down here to give me a pep-talk, it’s just because he likes to come down every so often.”
Despite the poor results and the current position, Evans hasn’t wavered in his support of the manager, who was appointed a year ago this week, seeing things as a long-term plan: “When I’ve been speaking to him on the phone after games he’s picked me up because with the results you’re not going to be happy. He’s been positive, he’s told me to stay positive and believe in myself.
“I’m having a tough time at the moment, I know that. I was wanted to be railroaded out of Bradford early on and I managed to turn that around, same at Wigan.
“I’ve been down this route before, it’s not a nice route. It’s tough for me at the minute, it’s tough for the fans, tough for everyone. But if you’ve got an easy life, then you’re a lucky man.”
Jewell says nothing Evans has said to him has given him the impression that the end is close: “He hasn’t said [I’m under any pressure] and from conversations you can normally tell.
“I haven’t got three games, or if I have he hasn’t told me. It’s a really boring comment I’ve got to make as all he’s saying to me is 'Keep going and keep believing in yourself and eventually we’ll get it right'.
“Maybe the fact that I’ve been promoted from this league twice and kept two teams in there for three years and got to a cup final, perhaps that’s why I’ve got a bit more time than maybe people might have thought.
“Someone was telling me that Bobby Robson was very close to the sack here,” he added, “and however many years later the club was full of success. I’m not putting myself in the same category as Sir Bobby, of course.
“I understand fans’ disappointment because they have been terrific with me and results haven’t been good, and certainly not in the last two or three months they’ve been unacceptable, I know that. All I can do is to try and put that right. I can’t do anything other than try my best.”
The Liverpudlian says he can understand Evans’s determination not to become a publicly recognisable face: “Absolutely. He can go on the tube, he can do anything he wants and nobody bothers him. That’s his prerogative. He’s a very private man and from a footballing point of view he’s been nothing but supportive to me.
“The owner’s been terrific. I know that’s not what people want to hear but he has been supportive of me and he knows times are really difficult for me at the moment. Hopefully I can repay him in the long term.
“Hopefully, we can get some players in before the end of the window to make sure we’re going to be OK this year and then to move on next season."
Photo: Action Images
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