Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans has commented on his departure from Leeds United.
Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans has told Sky Sports' EFL Weekly that his conduct around his Leeds departure was never geared towards a return to the club.
Evans, 54, has just returned to management, making a shock move to Mansfield Town in League Two, as he replaced Adam Murray in the hot seat at Field Mill.
With two wins and one defeat in his first three games, Evans has made a strong start to life with the Stags, and he'll be hoping to take them all the way to the Championship, just as he did with Rotherham United.
Steve Evans applauds Leeds fans
Mansfield aren't in action this weekend as they're already out of the FA Cup, and Evans has used some of his time to speak to Sky Sports' EFL Weekly about his start at Mansfield as well as his exit from Leeds United.
The Scot was appointed as Leeds boss in October 2015 following Uwe Rosler's departure, and won 14 of his 38 games with a 36.8% win rate, but was let go at the end of last season.
Evans was replaced by Garry Monk, who currently has Leeds up in fifth place in the Championship table, and challenging for a play-off place after four wins in the last five league games.
Steve Evans during his time at Leeds
At the time of Evans' departure, he kept very quiet as Leeds decided whether to keep him or move on to another manager, and he's now been asked whether that was because he wanted to keep himself open to a return to Elland Road.
Evans merely suggested that his conduct was down to a strong relationship with controversial owner Massimo Cellino, and admitted he was fortunate to be so close to the Italian, who told him that talks were ongoing with current boss Monk at the time.
Evans added that he has huge respect for Monk, and wanted somebody like him to get the job after his exit from Elland Road, as he was unfortunate to have been sacked by Swansea City in December last year.
"It was never about going back," said Evans. "I think that what the media write and say about Massimo Cellino is often exaggerated, and often not true. There were two or three managers that were putting themselves out there having been courted by Leeds United, but in reality, it was agents courting Massimo Cellino to get the job. I understand why they would want their client at Elland Road, it's such a great football club, but the dust has settled and time has gone on."
"Let me be absolutely clear about this; the only person that Massimo Cellino and Leeds United were talking to when I was waiting in suspense as to whether I was going to be kept on, is the man in the chair now, Garry Monk. Those conversations were going on for a number of weeks, and I'm very fortunate that I still have a relationship with Mr Cellino, and he was able to tell me that.”
“I think I laid some [of the foundations], but not all of them. The people who deserve enormous credit are the players at Leeds United, followed by Garry Monk. I have huge respect for Garry, and I did previously anyway. When Mr Cellino said to me that some of the people on his board and investors wanted somebody with Premier League experience, I wanted it to be someone like a Garry Monk if I'm being honest, I didn't want it to be somebody that had been sacked four or five times, and I think that we all felt that Garry was perhaps unfortunate to come out of Swansea when he did, so I think it was a good appointment,” he added.
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