Stevenage's sorry players were forced to cancel all plans after a shambolic first-half showing at bottom of the league Rochdale.

Goals from Devante Rodney and Danny Lloyd inside the opening 30 minutes had ripped a giant hole in Boro's League Two promotion hopes and eventually left them nursing a 2-0 defeat.

It brought two changes on 33 minutes and a third at half-time and although it was better after the break, the visitors to Spotland were a mile away from clinical too.

And with poor individual performances feeding a dreadful team effort, manager Steve Evans will look to get the squad back on an even keel with the extra Sunday session.

He said: "I've said for a long while that we need to come out of Rochdale and settle everyone down. 

"We'll come in [Sunday], which is very unusual for us, but we'll come in and we'll break down what's going on, not only today but for the last three or four weeks. 

"We need individuals to bring their performances back up to the level they were early in the season and around Christmas. 

"We'll go back to basics because we've got good players and we're still in a great position but any advantages we built up before this run of games have disappeared.

"[The first half] was 45 minutes where we were atrocious in everything we did. 

"The defending for the two goals in particular is as poor as it can get really, especially with the calibre of player we had out there. 

"We could be three or four down at half time so there's no excuses. 

"When you play 45 minutes like that, then you're not going to win."

There was also stunned silence on the Boro bench when the first went in and the second spurred the trio of Evans, assistant Paul Raynor and coach Alex Revell into hurried conversations, leading to the changes.

That was not the boss being brutal, said Evans, but more fear of things getting even worse.

He said: "If we’d kept it as it is, I feared we’d turn further behind. 

"We had to bring stability to it so we changed the shape a little bit and plugged some gaps they shouldn't have been finding. 

But they were finding them because we just weren't doing our job. 

"We changed it at half-time just to have a more adventurous system but we've made five or six good chances in the second half and haven't taken any of them. 

"Eighty per cent of the play in the second half is in and around the Rochdale goal but we needed a goal with 15 or 10 minutes to go at the latest to make them defend even deeper, and they were already really deep.  

"We never took those chances that came our way."

Half-time saw the initial two changes, Kane Smith and Jake Taylor replacing Jonathan Tomkinson and Jake Forster-Caskey, stay out for five minutes while the remainder of the first-half squad went inside.

There was nothing untoward in that according to Evans.

He said: "They came in and we just said to go back out and keep warm. If you come into a game after half-an-hour, when half-time comes you’ve only had little blow and you’re still not there with the speed of the game. 

"Half-time was constructive, it wasn’t destructive. The lads had their own words among themselves at the end of the game until I settled it down. 

"But that was because they knew that the first-half was not acceptable, they pinned it themselves. 

"What we have to do is be honest and show them the mistakes are basic elementary mistakes.  

"Rochdale have scored two good goals but they are not clever goals. 

"They are basic runs from a 10 position into a box and we don't track them and if you do that, you're going to concede. 

"We got out of jail a bit at Wimbledon on Tuesday, don't we? We didn't start well for 45, we were really poor again, so we changed it and affected it. 

"I think if there's one goal in it at half-time today, we probably go on to win the game second-half because there's a belief that you're not two behind."