'Big game but only worth three points' says Stevenage boss Evans

Luke Norris scored for Stevenage in their defeat at Exeter City

Luke Norris scored for Stevenage in their defeat at Exeter City - Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO

Stevenage boss Steve Evans admits their League Two encounter with Oldham Athletic on Saturday is a 'big game' - but worth the same points as any other.

Evans took charge for the first time last weekend - after positive Covid tests had seen their trip to Mansfield postponed - and saw his side slip to a 2-1 defeat at high-flying Exeter City.

Sam Stubbs headed the hosts in front, but Luke Norris levelled from Elliot List's cross and Boro enjoyed a spell on top.

Evans was left fuming that a second Stubbs header restored the Grecians' lead just before half-time, claiming it was 'clearly a foul' and Boro slipped into the relegation zone after Oldham beat Leyton Orient on Tuesday.

"It's a big game but you only get three points," said Evans.

Steve Evans saw his first game as Stevenage manager end in defeat at Exeter City

Steve Evans saw his first game as Stevenage manager end in defeat at Exeter City - Credit: PA

"I watched Oldham against Exeter last week, they should've beat Exeter. That's how tough our challenge is. Oldham should've been 3-2, 4-2 victors, but they weren't.

"What happens when you've got a really good side, really good players, the way they play, their bravery at times, they're going to fight and get points and they got a point at Port Vale in midweek, I watched that as well.

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"You have to look at that and think 'right, we know we're in a battle'. We've got eight games to go, we play everybody around us. It's what we do, it's not what about an Oldham do, what Barrow do, what anyone does, it's down to us."

Evans was pleased with the effort shown by his players in Devon and says they will fight to the finish.
But he admitted they needed a little bit more quality to get something at Exeter, adding: "My teams will go to the death. I've not looked in great depth at who we've got because it's a game at a time.

"We're fighting for ourselves.  We can't try any more but they were trying like that for the previous two managers. We need a little bit more quality.

"If we'd had a bit more quality we would've got something from the game, but it's an excellent side. Matt (Taylor) is doing a great job, they've got good players.

"But there's nothing in the game at half-time bar they've scored two goals. One is clearly a foul, the other is great delivery from a corner, great header, no complaints. 

"It is two set-plays that have cost us two goals, but you have to break them down. The first one we lost a 50-50 in the middle of the park, it can happen.

"But it's two mistakes for the goal. The 50-50 and then we lose our man. The second one is clearly a foul."

Remaining fixtures (home in CAPITALS): OLDHAM (April 2), Colchester (April 9), ROCHDALE (April 15), Scunthorpe (April 18), TRANMERE (April 23), Mansfield (April 26), Carlisle (April 30), SALFORD CITY (May 7).