The question was still going when a smile cracked onto the wily face of Steve Evans.

"Oh yeah," came the reply as the wicked smile widened.

The catalyst for the beaming face was whether Stevenage had thought about the January transfer window yet.

Boro's small squad has been stretched in the last two games as a 24-hour sickness bug tore through the camp.

It left just six of seven possible subs away to Grimsby Town on Saturday with that number down to five for the visit of Arsenal in the Papa John's Trophy on Tuesday.

And the Boro boss knows he has to strengthen the ranks ahead of the final charge towards promotion from League Two.

He said: "Staying in the Papa John’s increases the fixtures, if we stay in the FA Cup, that increases the fixtures, and then there’s Christmas. 

"We'll utilise the squad in this period, we have to. We saw how light we are if three or four go down.

"But our chairman is around next week and we already have a couple of days in the diary. 

"And those aren’t dates about having a glass of red and a bite to eat, he’s already aware of positions and players I am looking at and both he and Leon [Hunter] are doing some work on that now. 

"That’s a good thing. 

"If we fail to plan, we plan to fail and that’s an old saying but a true saying. 

"We have an opportunity to strengthen the group in January. We need to help the group but that’s not about moving anybody out, we don’t have to move anybody out.

"Our chairman will always do what he has told me he’ll do and that’s support us in January."

What remains as a theme from the latter days of the summer window though is the mantra that anybody coming in has to fit in with the ethos of the current squad.

Evans said: "There are limitations as to what we’ll do. 

"The last thing we want to do is upset the dressing room by bringing in a big-time Charlie. 

"The big time Charlies are not coming in. 

"If you come in here, you have to have a work ethic, the same work ethic our supporters have between Monday and Friday when they earn their money to come and see us."