GARETH Evans would like to start by saying sorry to the City fans.

When news of his return was announced on Friday, a certain clip from September 2012 did the rounds on social media.

Evans is seen leaping in the air right in front of the Bantams away fans after scoring the first of two goals for Rotherham. His taunting actions had not been forgotten.

“It was nearly 10 years ago and I’m very much a different character now,” he said. “I’ve got promoted twice out of this league, played a lot of football and got a lot of experience.

“I like to think I’m coming back with a completely different outlook on the game.

“But I’d obviously have to apologise for celebrating in front of them. I was a bit young and naïve.

“I was upset with the way things finished at Bradford the last time. I possibly wasn’t getting the best out of myself and I suppose it was the emotion.

“I was getting stick that game. It was friendly banter more than anything and I think I probably got a bit carried away - but I can only apologise!”

Evans spent his first night after signing trawling through old photos from his first spell at Valley Parade – a reminder of how long ago it had been.

“I was looking at those pictures. The kits were massive and I look very young – but I was only 21 when I signed.

“The last time I was here the club was in a bit of a financial mess.

“We were getting changed at Valley Parade and then having to drive down to training.

“You’d have to come back caked in mud because the pitches weren’t great and have to shower at the ground.

“It’s obviously still the same training ground but it’s a much better facility. Everything is improved and I think the club is very much geared up for success now.”

Evans wanted to get back nearer to his Mancunian roots with wife Hazel and young son Atlas after five years with Portsmouth. He had fallen out of favour with manager Kenny Jackett and was desperate to be playing again.

When Stuart McCall got in touch, it did not take a lot of persuasion to have a second crack at Valley Parade.

“I’ve always had a soft spot for them even though it probably didn’t work out as well as everyone wanted the last time I was here.

“I did genuinely enjoy my time and it was a bit of a surprise when I got a call off the manager.

“But it was exciting at the same time and it’s a project that I’m looking forward to.

“Stuart is a very positive boss. He’s got a good sense of humour and he’s also obviously very intelligent when it comes to football.

“He is a people person, very much a man manager.

“He’s not changed a whole lot since the last time but it’s obviously a much different club and much better circumstances. That played a huge part in me wanting to come back.

“I’ll enjoy being under a manager who plays the right way and appreciates good football.”

After successive play-off campaigns for Evans with Pompey in League One, the prospect of dropping down a division did not enter his thinking when he committed to a two-year deal.

“I wasn’t really fussed at all. It was more a case of getting success really wherever that may be.

“The division where I was going to play didn’t really come into it.

“I wanted to go to a club with ambitions of getting a promotion and it didn’t really matter to me if it was in League One or Two.

“As long as it was a good fit for me and my family and everything has slotted into place. It’s worked well.”

Evans also offers plenty of positional variety – a useful asset at a time when squads are smaller and the fixtures more hectic.

A striker when he was first at City, the 32-year-old has morphed into at attacking midfielder, winger – and even a full back.

“I don’t think he’s decided where he is going to play me yet,” added Evans. “Anywhere other than goalkeeper will do!

“In my time at Portsmouth, I ended up being a bit of a utility player. The last time I was promoted from this league was playing as a right back for the duration of the season.

“On paper it says right back but the way Paul Cook set up his team was very much attack-based.

“That year we tended to have the ball all the time so I didn’t really have to do any defending.

“The majority of it I was just overlapping the winger and putting crosses in. That’s why I ended up enjoying it so much and scored a few goals that year as well.

“The manager here doesn’t have just a Plan A and that’s it. When he comes up against different opponents and different ways of playing, he’s capable of changing the formation.

“I like to think that suits me because I can play plenty of positions. Hopefully that will mean I get plenty of game time and back to scoring goals and making goals.”