Rotherham boss Steve Evans has backed John Gregory to bring the glory days back to Crawley.
Evans led Reds to the Conference premier title before leaving to join the Millers in April 2012 when they were on course for promotion from League Two.
Gregory is the third manager Crawley have turned to after Sean O’Driscoll and Richie Barker in a bid to emulate the success Evans enjoyed and the controversial Scot believes the former Aston Villa boss is the ideal choice.
The pair will lock horns for the first time at the New York Stadium today with Evans tipping his former club to make a late challenge for the play-offs under the guidance of Gregory.
Evans said: “I think he will bring success. Looking for a distance I think he has done an outstanding job so far. He has steadied the ship in terms of results and with the players he has inherited I am sure he will have aspirations to challenge for the play-offs.
“I think he will be a good manager for Crawley Town and I know the owners are highly impressed with him. It is early days but it is probably the most comfortable the owners have felt with their manager since I left.”
Evans also believes Gregory has pulled off a masterstroke by bringing Matt Tubbs back to the Checkatrade.com Stadium despite enduring an unsuccessful loan spell at Rotherham this season.
Tubbs scored 58 goals in 78 games under Evans at Crawley but has struggled since joining Bournemouth for £800,000 two years ago, finding the net just eight times in 64 appearances.
Evans added: “They say you should never go back but I’m a real believer that sometimes a player fits a club like a hand in the glove and that is the case with Matt and Crawley.
“He came up north and never really got settled but I’ve got every confidence he’ll be successful at Crawley. It didn’t work out for him here but if he is fit and healthy there is no doubt in my mind that he will score goals wherever he goes.
“I don’t agree with the suggestion that he can only score at League Two level and below because if you go back and look at the cup runs we had with Crawley he put many Championship clubs to the sword.
“He scored against Hull who are now in the Premier League and Bristol City who were flying high in the Championship at the time. He got goals in all those games and they were very good goals too.”
Read Steve Hollis's interviews with Steve Evans and Matt Tubbs in The Argus today