Football: Liverpool pick Evans to revive glory: Derby's Kitson a target for the local boy who made good as Anfield face a rosier future with a chip off the old Shankly block

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The Independent Online
LIVERPOOL, having tried and failed by bringing a man from outside, returned to their traditions yesterday and looked inward for their new manager. Roy Evans, formerly assistant manager, was appointed yesterday until the end of the 1995-96 season, replacing Graeme Souness, who resigned on Friday.

For Evans, a 45-year-old from Bootle, it is the culmination of a

30-year professional association with the club that he also supported as a boy. He is, as the Liverpool chairman, David Moores, described him at the press conference held in the Trophy Room yesterday, 'the last of the Shankly lads'.

Evans' first act as manager could be imminent. He and Sammy Lee, a member of the coaching staff, watched Derby play Watford on Saturday and they are believed to be interested in the pounds 2m-rated striker, Paul Kitson. In return, Derby would want Nigel Clough and possibly Steve Nicol. Evans must also choose a coach, probably from outside the club, at the end of the season.

The promotion of Evans - the 14th full-time Liverpool manager since 1892 - also coincided with the further diminishment of the former manager's influence as Phil Boersma had his contract as coach and physiotherapist terminated. He had returned to Anfield when Souness was appointed in April 1991, having also served alongside him in Glasgow at Rangers.

Evans, who made 11 first- team appearances for the club before retiring at 25 to join the Boot Room, said: 'Liverpool Football Club has been built on a sense of pride. I felt that pride when I first came to Anfield and it has lived with me throughout my time here. It's very much with me today as I'm appointed manager.

'Our fans expect the best and look to the manager to provide it. I share their hopes and expectations just as I have shared their disappointments. They can be assured that my aim, and all those who work with me, will be to restore the club to its rightful place.'

Moores offered Evans the job on Sunday evening - 'It took me two seconds to think about it and accept,' the new manager said - and informed the players at their training ground yesterday morning. 'His ability and dedication have greatly impressed me,' he said.

'Roy was originally appointed to the coaching staff at the recommendation of the late Mr Shankly, who had undoubtedly recognised his coaching and managerial potential.' Asked whether Evans would provide money for transfers, he replied: 'For the right players, yes.'

Evans, who led Liverpool's reserves to nine Central League titles in his first 11 years on the coaching staff, was promoted to be Souness's assistant last May, when he was brought in to act as a buffer between the abrasive manager and the players. The appointment was not entirely successful as Ian Rush and John Barnes had public disputes with Souness, but it did signal the board's belief that Evans was regarded as lacking the ruthless edge for a senior post.

'I don't believe in being hard just for the sake of it,' Evans said. 'But if I have to be I will be. I'm fortunate that I've worked under so many wonderful managers, but I'll not try to copy them. I'll be Roy Evans, nothing more or less.'

For Liverpool that will suffice. When Evans gave up playing and was made reserve-team coach, Sir John Smith, then chairman, said: 'We have not made an appointment for the present, but for the future. One day he will be manager.' Yesterday, the prediction became fact.