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Steve Evans says Neil Warnock has restored the spirit that went missing after his exit

Former Rotherham boss Steve Evans says that Neil Warnock has restored the spirit that he garnered at the club.

Evans returns to the New York Stadium for the first time since the tear-jerking meeting with Tony Stewart in September which preceded his exit when he brings Leeds to his old stomping ground for the Yorkshire derby.

The Whites come up against a Millers side rejuvenated under Warnock, having won 16 points from a possible 18, and playing with spirit that club skipper Lee Frecklington says is the best he's ever known at the club.

That is some going as the better times of Evans' three-and-a-half-year reign at the Millers were built on an incredible team spirit - particularly the 2013-14 season and the back end of last term when Championship survival was secured in adversity.

There were signs that was wavering in the early part of this campaign as the final throes of Evans' reign played out, but the Scot reckons Warnock has been able to regain that feeling.

“He’s brought not only fantastic performances from that group of players but he’s brought back a spirit that was there prior to us leaving," Evans said.

“Players like Camp, Broadfoot, Frecklington, Smallwood, Newell, Derbyshire and Ward, they are fantastic players.

“And if ever they are doubted in the Championship for ability, which they are not in my eyes, then they make up for it because they have got hearts and energies to play football that I have not had at many places.”

Evans is likely to receive a warm reception from the Millers fans ahead of kick-off as they recognise a man who took the club from League Two to Championship safety.

“I had three and a half years of the most wonderful times that any manager could wish to have, supported by not only great staff and a great chairman but by magnificent players," he added.

“The supporters were there in days that didn’t look as if we were going to get promoted from League Two and we did and in League One, especially when 2-0 down at Wembley it looked a bit daunting, but we delivered and it will be an opportunity for myself and Paul Raynor just for a brief moment to open our hearts and applaud the Rotherham people who were fantastic to us as individuals.

“I arrive as the very proud manager of Leeds United and I want to leave on the team coach with three points but at five to three or thereabouts I will show my recognition to them. They are wonderful people.”

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