Roberts hails the Evans effect after Stevenage winner at Tranmere

Jordan Roberts of Stevenage during Stevenage vs West Bromwich Albion, Friendly Match Football at the

Jordan Roberts hailed manager Steve Evans after scoring Stevenage's winner at Tranmere Rovers. - Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGSPHOTO

Jordan Roberts said being in the right place to score Stevenage's winner at Tranmere Rovers wasn't an option - he would have faced the wrath of Steve Evans otherwise.

The forward bagged his debut goal six minutes from time at Prenton Park to hand Boro a 2-1 win on the opening day of the League Two season.

It came from a free-kick that was headed back across goal by Carl Piergianni for Roberts to steal in at the far post and score.

He said: "With the defenders we’ve got, I always know there will be a second phase for me coming into the box. 

"They are great in the air and you just have to be ready. 

"If I didn’t get there, I wouldn’t be here now. I’d probably be getting beat up by the gaffer. 

"I knew I had to bust a gut to get there and luckily I did."

Roberts is no stranger to the approach of the boss having played with him before at Gillingham but it is one he enjoys and one he thrives in.

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"He gets the best out of me," he said. "You can never rest, he is always on you in a positive way. 

"He knows what I am about and he knows what I can bring to the team. 

"He has given me the opportunity before and now here and I want to repay that in any way I can. 

"It doesn’t matter what team you play for. You have to give 100 per cent and sometimes it won’t be pretty but then your ability can shine after that. 

"To play under the gaffer you have to work hard, dig in and show your character when you’ve not got the ball as well as when you do." 

Roberts had started the game on the bench but had been given an opportunity when Elliott List went off with a first-half heel injury.

But with more substitutions allowed this season, that is where another Evans' mantra comes into play

He said: "Everyone has to be ready at any point in the game, the gaffer has reiterated that a few times. 

"There are five substitutions allowed this year so there are plenty of opportunities. 

"Whether I am on the bench or starting the game, I’m going to look to give it my all. 

"The lads played really well. We are a new bunch and we’ve had a good pre-season and they dug in really well. 

"We showed a character that you probably might not [normally] see until five or 10 games into a season. 

"We have set the foundations of what we need to do and hopefully we can maintain them. 

"Hopefully we can kick on from here."