Team spirit and the strength of the squad can carry Stevenage towards the League One play-offs says manager Steve Evans - the performance against Barnsley proves that.

Boro won 2-1 at home to the almost play-off confirmed Tykes on Tuesday evening, and they did so with recalls for some players who have been missing in recent months,

Aaron Pressley, Elliott List and Kane Smith were all included from the start and all drew rave reviews for their efforts.

Their inclusion was partly injured related, some afflicting others and in other cases, ones they had recovered from themselves.

The togetherness of the squad though could be Stevenage's biggest asset though.

"We've been robbed of certain players for periods of time," said Evans.

"Taye Ashby-Hammond makes a bad [mistake] at Exeter but he's been brilliant for us, 19 clean sheets. 

"Then he has a groin injury post that and so we make a change and people ask what’s the story behind the news? 

"There is nothing behind the news, there are rationales like Pressley was ill and had little niggles and knocks and Kane Smith was ill and had little niggles and knocks plus Luther Wildin and Jamie Reid have been exceptional. 

"When we pick a bench, we have to pick a bench to cover all eventualities.  

"We’d all love three strikers on the bench and we’d love our entire squad on the bench but we can't have it. 

"People are looking for something that isn’t there. 

"We have a fantastic spirit in the camp and when we’ve not been so good in the last month or so, we've kept that spirit very much the same as what it was. 

"That's important for young men, you have to give them an environment where they want to come and be part of it. 

"That's why you're seeing Reidy and Listy and big Aaron deliver the type of performances they did because they feel valued, even when they're not on the team or not travelling.  

"They're still a big part of it."

Boro will head into the final three games definitely without Jake Forster-Caskey and Alex MacDonald but hopefully others will be back.

The boss said: "We've not had a good time here in terms of being injury free. 

"We lost Forster-Caskey and then we lose McDonald and Taye goes out with a groin strain. 

"We don't think that's too bad but we also lost Sweens [Dan Sweeney] because of his personal situation and we lost [Carl] Piergianni because he ‘assaulted’ someone. 

"From that point of view, we've been dealt some poor hands, but what you've got inside this camp is some real men, and I mean the dressing room, the players. 

"There are some real strong characters, some people that want us to be in that end of season play-off group. 

"We're going to have to have a little bit of luck along the way but the most important ingredient we have is our DNA and we need that out of the locker on Saturday because if we don't, [the play-off chase] will probably come to a conclusion if other results go against us. 

"We need to be ready to do our part and then we’ll look at what’s happening elsewhere." 

Stevenage go into their final three matches of the season, level on points with Blackpool, one point behind Lincoln City and three behind Oxford United.

And he says all four teams will be keeping an eye on each other, but keeping their own house in order is what matters.

"It's amazing that a lot of managers say they don’t look at league tables," said Evans. "Of course they do, we all do.

"Come Saturday, Oxford will be aware of what is happening at Lincoln and at Blackpool and with us. 

"We'll be aware of what's happening with them. 

"We’re well aware when we look around that everyone has tough games. 

"We have Burton Albion who are fighting for a huge prize. They are fighting to stay in League One, fighting for their lives. 

"Then we go to Oxford and then we have Cheltenham on the last day. They might have to win to stay up and we might have to win to get in the play-offs. 

"I would much rather be playing teams that are in the middle of the pack but everyone has tough games."