Rotherham United boss Steve Evans tomorrow pits his wits against a manager he admits he used to be too scared to approach.
Evans takes the Millers to Ipswich Town who have won their last three matches under Mick McCarthy.
And the Millers manager revealed: “I didn’t know Mick a lot. I used to be frightened to talk to him.
“He was just someone I looked up to. It was like looking up to the top people in the Premier League. He had that aura about him.”
The pair have become closer in the last few months, with Rotherham signing Town goalkeeper Scott Loach and taking Portman Road duo Paul Taylor and Anthony Wordsworth on loan.
Evans added: “When you do get talking to him he’s one of the most honest, brightest, intelligent but simple, basic managers you could wish to come into contact with.
“His Yorkshire is a bit like Steve Evans’ Glaswegian. Yes is yes. No is no.
“My relationship with him has been built on that. It’s built on professionalism and a respect for a man who I look forward to seeing on Saturday.
Taylor and Wordsworth won’t play against their parent club, but Loach is expected to feature, along with right-back Frazer Richardson and midfielder Paul Green who were both on loan at Town last season.
Evans said: “If geography had allowed it, Paul Green and Frazer Richardson might still have been at Ipswich.
“I know Mick was keen to keep both.
“We didn’t hide the fact that we cannot match Ipswich on finance - we’re not on their level there. But we got the mix right between wages and geography.
“Frazer is a Rotherham boy and Paul’s from Pontefract so we win on that.
“But both will get fantastic receptions and Loachy as well if they’re involved.
“They played a really meaningful part in giving Ipswich a great end to last season when it looked at one point as if they could be sucked into a relegation fight.
“I’m sure their supporters will recognise that.”
Rotherham skipper Craig Morgan definitely misses out tomorrow as he serves a one-match ban for accumulating five bookings.
Alex Revell has recovered from the dead-leg he suffered in last Saturday’s draw with Charlotn Athletic, but the Millers have two new injury concerns
“We’ve got a couple of little things we need to wait on,” Evans said. “Kari Arnason has a knock and Richie Smallwood felt his hamstring tighten after training.
“There’ll be an opportunity for some. We’ve always maintained that if you do the business you keep the shirt.
“Our options are severely limited this weekend, as they have been for several weeks with injuries. Now we have a suspension kicking in.
“We haven’t really had the full availability of our squad. We’ve never used it as an excuse in the games we’ve played and we’re not going to use it as an excuse going forward.”