Steve Evans wants Stevenage to work as hard as Barcelona

2:21 PM August 4, 2022

Stevenage and Barcelona may not be usual bedfellows but Steve Evans says there’s nothing wrong with trying to emulate the Spanish giants.

Boro head into the second game of the League Two season after an impressive opening day success at Tranmere Rovers and it was their work rate that caught the attention of Wirral.

This is where Pep Guardiola, the coach of Barcelona and now Manchester City, comes in.

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

“There were a lot of upsides in that performance, but there’s a lot more to come from them and a lot more work on the training ground will help achieve that.

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

“It had nothing to do with pure ability, it was a matter of work rate and organization.

“So when we were trying to add to the group, the first thing we tell the players is how hard they will have to work.

“When I was doing with my professional license, and I fall here, but Pep showed more stats on who was the hardest working team in La Liga and it was no surprise that it was Barcelona.

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

“We may never play like them, but we can do it.”

And if the hard work comes for Stevenage, then Evans knows exactly how they’re going to calculate and measure success.

“You have to earn a promotion to be successful,” he said, “and we have the same goals and ambitions as everyone else.

“We may have less money than everyone else, but it’s not always about the money, it’s about individual players coming together and forming a unit and a team.

“And we’ve signed some wonderful players, but we need to add more.

“We’re pretty close as a couple.”

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

And Evans knows how difficult it will be.

He said: “They’ll be giving good size support and they’re going to be in pain and pain since last week. [3-2 at home to Barrow].

“They have a promising manager who I know expects them to be in Ligue 1 next year.

“That’s the scale of the task.”

Maria D. Ervin