Steve Evans talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
We caught up with a disappointed Steve Evans this morning as he reflected on yesterday at Milton Keynes Dons and looked ahead to the visit of Tranmere to the New York Stadium on Tuesday evening.
What is your reflective view on yesterday’s game?
The heroic performance by the players deserved something from the match. The lads settled down after the first 10 minutes and from then on we were by far the better team but you cannot afford to miss the chances we are making at present. The first half-hour resembled last week against Swindon Town when we should have scored on at least three or four occasions.
I believe the sending off for Michael O’Connor was harsh as I do not think it was a penalty but when the match referee awards the penalty Michael has to be sent for an early batch, it was a cruel decision.
With 10 men in the second-half we still had some outstanding play, scored two goals and I don't think anyone who watched the match would have not thought we were worthy of taking at least a point.
We seem to be in a phase of big match decisions going against us, it really is getting very frustrating but we can only continue to work hard and hope that changes. I have watched the match DVD, we could have had a penalty ourselves for handball when Michael O Connor has a great strike, there is not a thing I can say about that as it would land me in some trouble. Young Tom Eaves is pulled over late on too but it is gone now and I won’t dwell on it.
What I would say is that the team showed fantastic character, they gave me everything they had, I can ask no more when they do that, it was more like the men I know and afterwards and I felt for them.
There were a number of notable displays, who stood out for you?
I thought all the lads put a real shift in. Lee Frecklington was excellent as was Morgan and Arnason whilst Michael O’Connor was having a good performance before his red card. Rob Milsom had a real productive second-half as did Tom Eaves who covered every inch of grass in the Milton Keynes half of the pitch.
On Tuesday we host Tranmere, how big a test will this be on your squad?
Tuesday will be a really difficult match. Of course my good friend and Millers legend Ronnie Moore will be here and he will be looking for his team to perform as they did at Bradford City last Sunday. I watched the match live and it would be fair to say Tranmere deserved their victory. The performance was excellent, fantastic energy so we know in advance it will be tough.
We have a number of injuries and knocks from Saturday too plus of course we have suspensions but this is all part of football, don't get down, get up and fight is my only message to the players. In football when your down and feeling sorry for yourself you get kicked harder, we must get up and believe in what we are doing.
I will have a good look today at who we have available, look in turn at further Tranmere footage then begin to shape a team in my mind for Tuesday.
Are you likely to look at strengthening the squad next week?
It is getting frustrating. Last midweek we were close but unfortunately we couldn’t come to an agreement with a player. It is disappointing as he would have been a great signing for us and a player who would have made us so much better.
I will see the Chairman tomorrow and as always we will discuss the squad. I am looking at a few areas where I would like to add but it must also represent value for money in every deal we do.
What can you tell us about the award you are receiving tonight?
I don't really know much about the evening other than it is hosted by the northern sports writers. I believe Sir Alex Ferguson is getting an award and there are others too but I will be able to give you further details tomorrow. What I do know that it is in recognition of last season’s promotion, so of course I am honoured to be recognised by such a great body at the northern sports writers association.