16 September 2023

Steve Evans expects Stevenage to have a strong season in League One

16 September 2023

Stevenage boss Steve Evans is confident his side will enjoy a strong season in Sky Bet League One despite dropping points at home for the second game in succession following a 1-1 draw with Charlton.

Boro looked set for all three points thanks to Jamie Reid’s first-half strike but were made to settle for a point after Corey Blackett-Taylor converted from the penalty spot in the second minute of second-half stoppage time.

It is the second time in a week Stevenage have given up three points at the death following last week’s 2-2 draw with Carlisle, but Evans is confident his side will continue to cause plenty of problems.

“We’ll do alright,” he said. “People wrote us off before the game. If that’s a £10million budget, well we’ll do alright, that’s all and that’s not knocking them.

“They are full of good players. They’ve got a good manager in. I think he’d have been scratching his head at half-time because we should have been three-nil up.

“We should have had the game put to bed. We were frighteningly dominant and then you’re going to get a reaction, aren’t you, from good players, and they got a reaction.

“It was a little bit galling to see every time there’s a free-kick and it’s contested there’s seven Charlton players running around the referee.

“I think they get the penalty from that because I’ve just watched it back and there’s not a chance in a world that’s a penalty.

“They should have had one earlier but we should have had one in the first half, so it equals itself out.”

While it was disappointment for Evans, new Charlton boss Michael Appleton admitted a half-time rollicking was required to produce a better second-half showing from his players and earn him a first point in charge.

“I was disappointed with the way we competed,” he said. “I’d expect us to be much better and stronger, and to be fair to the players they proved in the second half that they are more than capable of doing it.

“It was one of them where I knew there was more to come and I expected more from them, certainly in possession.

“Out of possession you could argue it could be stronger and more physical, but the reality is we’ve come up against a side that are probably one of the best in the division at it.

“But for me, I still like some of our players, whether they’re 5ft 2ins or 6ft 2ins, to make sure they’re competitive, and we didn’t get it in the first half.

“We did in the second half and the performance obviously in both halves was chalk and cheese.”

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