Steve Evans said his half-time team talk against Rochdale was focused on asking the Stevenage players to show some fight and character - and he was delighted with the response.

Scott Cuthbert scored the only goal of the game three minutes after the interval in the 1-0 win at the Lamex, a result that lifts Boro out of the relegation places at the expense of Oldham Athletic.

And he believes that the fight they showed could be enough to keep them in the division.

The boss said: "What you have to do is give the dressing room enormous credit.

"We weren’t at it in the first half, we sat off the play and didn’t play with the aggression and determination that these boys can.

"So I questioned their character and asked them to go out and show me that you want to do this for the football club and yourselves and your family and show me what being in the football league means to them.

"And to a man they responded in the second half with a huge amount of effort and a huge amount of determination.

"We considered halfway through the first half whether we should change it, not because anyone was worse than anyone else but we just had a number of players who weren’t at the races.

"It was an edgy performance in the first half. You could see some didn’t want to make mistakes.

"I’m one of those managers who would rather lose 3-0 doing things right and having a go.

"We had to find a way to win and we did."

They now head to Scunthorpe on Easter Monday with the Humberside outfit confirmed as relegated following their loss to Leyton Orient.

And Evans says he will expect to see more of the same from his players.

He said: "The one thing I knew before coming in was that I didn’t have anything to worry about with the dressing room.

"It’s a really good group of players.

"We’re not the best management team in the world but we just have to work hard and the process may take a little bit longer than normal but these players certainly have the work ethic.

"If you work hard for us, you’ll get the chance.

"But we have to live properly over the weekend. A bank holiday weekend is for the supporters, not football players.

"They have to be regimented to go to Scunthorpe."