"There are never any guarantees in football, but we believe this is the right management team to establish us as a League One club that can push the big boys all the way."

Those were the words of Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace after announcing Alex Revell as manager at the Lamex Stadium for the second time.

Never any guarantees in football - there aren't many truer words been said, ever, but it harks and echoes back to what a number of fans were at least thinking in the last couple of weeks - is Revs ready to sit in the big chair again?

There is no doubt that the fabric of the club has changed since he first inherited the role back in February 2020.

Back then Boro were in real danger of dropping out of the Football League, and really should have, saved only by Macclesfield's financial indiscretions.

But Broadhall Way wasn't a good place to be back then and 18 months later, after some poor results, Revs made way for Paul Tisdale, an appointment that certainly didn't work.

READ MORE: Alex Revell named as new Stevenage manager

READ MORE: Alex Revell is the natural successor to Steve Evans - Phil Wallace

It was the arrival of Steve Evans in March 2022 that changed the direction of the club, and Revell was very much a part of that.

Brought in as first-team coach, I remember asking the then boss about it. His reply was very interesting.

Speaking at Colchester back in April 2022, just five months after Revell had been dismissed as boss, Evans said: "Alex played for me at Rotherham and he was stunning.

"When he got the job here, he came and had a coffee with me at home and he spoke about the chairman giving him a chance.

"I did say to him ‘you may find it has come a little bit early’ but there are [only] 72 EFL managers and so why wouldn’t you take it on.

"But there's no doubt that he loves the club passionately and he’ll sit in the manager’s chair in the future."

Prophetic words indeed but it was the last sentence that is perhaps the most important.

Evans added: "He’ll learn a lot in the time we’re here and he’ll be ready."

It formed the basis of a question I asked Revs at the end of the game against Oxford last month, how much had he learned under Evans' tutelage?

The new Stevenage manager replied: "The gaffer’s obviously huge on standards, everything we've done is in terms of standards. 

""That’s massive and when you set something, you have to stick to those standards. The minute you let something slip, the minute the place falls [apart] slightly. 

"I learned from that and thought that is definitely something I’ll grasp onto. 

"I think going with your gut, you want to have opinions [given to you] but ultimately you want to do it your way. 

"Like at Oxford, we thought do we go there with one up front? We don't play one up front, we play with two. 

"You can't just go for teams all the time willy-nilly, because there are good teams at this level, but we play with two up front, whatever we do around that. 

"And we work and we try and win it back and we try and score as quickly as we can and that's what we try and do.

"We tried to do that at Oxford, we tried to carry it on because that was my gut and that's what I've learned over the time [with Steve Evans]."

It was a cracking answer. Revs is not the easiest person in the world to eke information out of, many questions are sent back your way with a straight bat, but this gave a true insight into the character of the man, and did suggest growth in his knowledge and a huge modicum of learning.

He will need those qualities going forward because there will always be an element of doubt as to whether he is the right man for the job.

The truth of the matter is that there wasn't a great deal of choice out there, not wanting to belittle his appointment at all but it is true.

A lot of the out of work managers are as untested as he is, and probably more so. Some of those in jobs would want to alter the make-up of this side drastically, alter the fabric and the essence of the club.

That was not what you would want.

Ideally you would be after another experienced person who has had success in the division previously and they are rare, very rare.

And ultimately, even after the successes of the last two years, Stevenage is still not a big enough draw to many.

All of the above though actually works in Revell's favour.

He knows what Stevenage needs, what Stevenage should be, how they should play.

He does have experience, his previous spell would have blessed him with oodles of lessons, as will the two years under Evans and assistant Paul Raynor.

And he has arguably had success in the division too, this season's efforts confounding many a so-called pundit. He has seen first hand what is needed to get into the League One play-offs.

That is one of the reasons Revell finds himself in a far better position than his first spell in charge, back in those heady pre-COVID-19 days.

The other is he has inherited virtually the entire squad that was only a few wins away from getting in the League One play-offs.

Yes, there will still be departures as other clubs come calling and make bids, Rotherham undoubtedly being one of them, and some of those bids will be too tempting not to accept.

But crucially, Boro don't HAVE to sell.

Towards the end of February, beginning of March, BBC Three Counties Radio's Steve Watkins asked me whether I thought Boro would make the end of season party. For me it was a certainty, five wins from the remaining 12 games should do it, or get you very close.

Turned out six wins would have been the magic number, still very doable though, which makes the ultimate failure a definite sickener.

The other feeling back then though was that if Boro did miss out, they would only need to add maybe three or four bits of quality to the squad to make a top six finish an easier proposition.

That fact still remains.

The summer transfer window will be the first real test of his managerial ability 2.0. Who will he go for? Who will he bring in?

I have one definite choice that I thought was a shoe-in, and who would be an ideal fit at Stevenage - that being Jonson Clarke-Harris of Peterborough United.

A lot of that had to do with the Steve Evans link, and football logic would say Rotherham are now front-runners there, but JCH still would be an excellent first deal for Stevenage, a real marquee signing.

How Revell works with director of football Leon Hunter will be another big factor but the pair will already have a close working relationship so it shouldn't be too much of a problem, the boss just has to identify the right targets and the director of football and the chairman can do the rest.

Revs has always been a popular person among many players though, or seemingly so anyway. That is a plus and might help sway people towards joining the cause.

His management team choices are also interesting.

I don't know much about Neil Banfield, other than what I read and the connection with Michael Beale is a massive black mark in my book, but then I have many friends who are Sunderland fans.

Banfield has been at some big clubs though, worked under and with a lot of good people. His experience was something pointed at by Phil Wallace in the appointment statement.

Scott Cuthbert seems like a great appointment. Another one who knows the club's ethos inside and out. Doesn't have the experience of Banfield but will instantly have the respect of the players.

And in that interview after the Oxford draw, Revell had said the biggest thing for him was "trust, getting people around you that you trust and that are all in the same boat, that all want the same thing as you". 

It seems that's what he's done.

My summary is simple then, there is a lot going for Alex, a lot of good reasons to say he is the right man for the job. He deserves to be backed and probably isn't that much of a gamble.

The hard work starts now though and regardless of who was entrusted in the role, they were always going to be judged by results on the field. The proof is in the pudding as they say.

Or to put it another way, "there are no guarantees in football".