Gillingham reject Stevenage approach for Steve Evans but could a move still happen?
Stevenage continue to search for a new manager following the departure of Alex Revell earlier this week.
We bring you the latest comments from Gillingham boss Steve Evans, we have a look at the managerial record of Paul Buckle, then throw a few out-of-work managers into the mix...
What’s Steve Evans said about the approach?
Within 24 hours of Stevenage’s decision to part ways with Revell, Steve Evans had been installed as the surprise favourite for the vacancy.
Evans is currently employed in the division above Stevenage at League One side Gillingham, so why would he drop down a tier to take charge of a struggling side dangling above the relegation zone?
Soon after, Henry Winter tweeted that Stevenage had in fact made an approach to the Gills for their boss, who previously led Rotherham to back-to-back promotions up to the Championship, enjoyed success at Crawley, Boston and Stamford, and managed Leeds, Peterborough and Mansfield.
Bet Victor’s 2/5 frontrunner Evans, whose contract expires at the end of the season, was then asked by KentOnline about the approach on Tuesday night. “I have just been made aware of it by our media department and that is something that the chairman and the club have to speak about, not for me, I will speak to the chairman about it as you would expect,” he said.
“I don’t know how accurate that is. I am a football manager, I want to win games, I want to have a chance. I don’t know if there has been an approach.
“I know Stevenage as a club, I know the personnel, but that is for Paul Scally (the Gills chairman) and Gillingham Football Club to speak of and obviously they need to give clarity on it because I am not sure that is right or wrong.”
If Evans wasn’t interested in a switch then surely he would have flat-out stated that he was going nowhere, which has only fuelled rumours that a move could actually happen.
However, Evans has since come out on Thursday and told BBC Kent: “He’s [chairman] let me know that he turned that request down from Stevenage. I have a meeting later today [Thursday] with the Chairman - not just to discuss that - but….everyone knows my contract’s up at the end of the season.”
Could Stevenage's approach spur Gillingham into action to hand Evans a new deal? We'll now have to wait and see for the outcome of the meeting.
What’s Paul Buckle’s record like?
Paul Buckle, 4/1, is another surprise name in contention, according to the latest odds.
Buckle hasn’t appeared seriously in manager markets for quite some time. The 50-year-old last managed in 2017 at American second-tier side Sacramento Republic, while his most recent spell in England was seven years ago at Cheltenham where he lasted all of 79 days.
For the last two years Buckle has been working as a Senior Technical Advisor PB Consultancy LLC, a role which sees him ”advise a variety of clubs on the technical strategy at each franchise to ensure they are operating for long-term success with efficiency both on and off the field.” (LinkedIn).
Other past jobs include coaching at Southampton’s U23s, and a year at Luton whom he took to the National League play-off final and through to the FA Cup fifth round after beating Premier League sides Norwich and Wolves.
Prior to that Buckle had an eight month spell at Bristol Rovers, and a successful four years at Torquay (2007 to 2011), whom he took to an FA Trophy final, led back into the EFL, then reached the League Two play-off final where they lost to...Stevenage.
Paul Buckle Win Rates
Bristol Rovers: 31%
Out of work managers
Ian Holloway, Paul Tisdale and Phil Brown are all EFL veterans, we’re still waiting to see where John McGreal pops up next, while Sol Campbell is looking for another post.
We can’t mention a vacancy at Stevenage without talking about the club’s four-time manager Graham Westley. He’s currently unemployed and has previously enjoyed great success at the club, however his most recent spell lasted all of two months, and in truth another return is unlikely.
Alternatively, there are a host of talented coaches employed in the non-league spectrum; from Luke Garrard at Boreham Wood to Nathan Rooney at Colne.
Warren Feeney, manager of Bulgarian outfit Pirin Blagoevgrad, also burst into the betting at 4/1, before drifting slightly to 8/1.