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Thursday, November 12, 1998 Published at 13:55 GMT

Evans to leave Anfield

Roy Evans has worked for Liverpool for 30 years

Liverpool joint manager Roy Evans has been at the club's Melwood training ground on Thursday morning despite the rumours surrounding his position.

Nick Garnett: "This is a love affair that began in 1955"
However it may only be a parting gesture with reports suggesting that Evans' five-year reign as manager is about to come to an end.

A news conference has been called by the Anfield club for Thursday afternoon.

It is believed that Evans will leave the club by mutual consent following secret negotiations with chairman David Moores.

Current joint boss Gerard Houllier will then take sole charge of the club.

Houllier said: "I feel very sorry about Roy's departure I really liked working with him, my relationship with him was fine.

"It was the joint management situation which was more of a problem for the players, the staff and the media I would certainly have preferred to take this job in different circumstances.

Former Kop hero Phil Thompson is expected to be named as Houllier's new assistant manager, as current number two Doug Livermore leaves with Evans.

Thompson was originally sacked from Liverpool's coaching staff by former boss Graeme Souness in 1992.

Evans has been under pressure for weeks because of Liverpool's poor start to a campaign in which he has shared the Anfield management with Frenchman Houllier.

Since topping the Premiership in early September, Liverpool have beaten only Fulham, Kosice and Nottingham Forest - although they did progress in Europe, beating Valencia on away goals.

[ image: Liverpool's 3-1 loss to Spurs was the latest in a number of defeats]
Liverpool's 3-1 loss to Spurs was the latest in a number of defeats
The crisis came to a head on Tuesday when they were knocked out of the Worthington Cup by Spurs at Anfield.

Evans has given 30 years' service at Anfield, mainly in a coaching capacity.

He was appointed as manager in January 1994 following the departure of Souness.

The former coach is the last remaining link with Bill Shankly, the man who created the dynasty which ruled English football for more than two decades.

Mark Lawrenson: End of the old boot room
The so-called Anfield "boot room" saw Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Kenny Dalglish and Evans all promoted into the manager's office at the club.

With Ronnie Moran's retirement last summer, and Evans' imminent departure, a new era is set to start at Anfield.

[ image: Gerard Houllier: Former French technical director]
Gerard Houllier: Former French technical director
Houllier is expected to be in complete control in time for Saturday's home game with Leeds, and is likely to be given considerable funds to rebuild the Merseyside club.

The Frenchman arrived in the summer after being the French FA's technical director and having played a major role in France winning the World Cup.

He is one of Europe's most respected coaches and will have the task of producing a successful team from a squad of under-achievers who have won just the League Cup in Evans' reign.

One of his first tasks will be to sort out the long-running saga of Steve McManaman's contract - which could see the winger leave for nothing next summer.

If that is McManaman's intention, then the club may want to sell him now, and at least raise some cash.

There is also a decision over whether he wants to retain the massive influence of skipper Paul Ince at the club.

There have been murmurings for some while that Houllier and Ince do not see eye to eye and the controversial midfielder was sent off in Valencia last week.

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