No reason why Stevenage can't emulate Barcelona says Steve Evans

Steve Evans wants his Stevenage side to work as hard as Barcelona did under Pep Guardiola.

Steve Evans wants his Stevenage side to work as hard as Barcelona did under Pep Guardiola. - Credit: SEAN DEMPSEY/PA

Stevenage and Barcelona may not be usual bed fellows but Steve Evans says there is nothing wrong with trying to emulate the Spanish giants.

Boro head into game two of the League Two season fresh from an impressive opening day success at Tranmere Rovers and it was their work rate that caught the eye on Wirral.

That's where Barcelona and now Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola comes in.

Evans said: ""When you take it in isolation, it was a very difficult opening day match but we turned up with a real message that we are here to compete and be involved in games this season.

"There were a lot of plusses in that performance but there is a lot more to come from them and a lot more work on the training ground will help deliver that. 

"Many managers who we spoke to in the summer said the difference in the last eight games was down to work. 

"It had nothing to do with sheer ability, it was down to work rate and organisation. 

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"So when we were trying to add to the group, the first thing we say to the players is about how hard they’ll have to work. 

"When I was doing with my pro-licence, and I’m name dropping here, but Pep showed more some statistics on who was the hardest-working team in La Liga and it was no surprise it was Barcelona. 

"It’s about metres covered and intensity and so the minimum we can do is work as hard as Barcelona. 

"We might never ever play like them but we can do that." 

And if the hard work does come for Stevenage, then Evans knows exactly how they will calculate and measure success.

"You have to win promotion to be successful," he said, "and we have the same aims and ambitions as everyone else.

"We may have less money than everybody else but it is not always about money, it is about individual players coming together and being a unit and a team. 

"And we have signed some wonderful players but we do need to add to it. 

"We are pretty close to a couple." 

Stockport County, another of the League Two favourites, is next up for Boro in their first home game of the year.

And Evans knows how tough it will be.

He said: "They will bring a good-sized support and they’ll be smarting and hurting from last week [3-2 at home to Barrow]. 

"They have an up and coming manager who I know expects them to be in League One next year. 

"That’s the size of the task."