Stevenage manager Steve Evans is using the words Leyton Orient counterpart Richie Wellens as motivation ahead of the mouth-watering return clash between League Two's top clubs.

Leaders Orient and second-placed Boro drew 0-0 two days after Christmas at Brisbane Road with the home boss less than gracious above the visitors' performance.

Speaking after the game on December 27, he had dismissed the notion of Boro cancelling them out, going on say "they have a certain style of playing which is to break the game up and counter-attack.

"If you don’t press their back players then they boom it into the box and it can become a problem.

"They are a very good team at defending their box but there was only one winner in that game, the second half was one-way traffic."

Evans had a grin on his face as he recalled the aftermath.

"We were so lucky to get a point," he said with his tongue firmly in his cheek. "We are very grateful. 

"They have a plethora of options. It shows the wealth they have in their group and within their club that they can lose two very established centre-backs but sign two very quickly. 

"There will be no weaknesses. 

"We learned a lot from the [game in December] and our players will have learned a lot. 

"We never lost points at that game, we learned something about Leyton Orient. 

"What we did know, and they are statistically proving it every week, is they are the best team in the league and we need to see how far away from them."

And he is looking forward to what promises to be a humdinger at a sold-out Lamex.

He said: "There’s no denying that when top play second, in any league in the world, it’s seen as the premier game. 

"In isolation, nothing will be won or lost in terms of promotion but we get an opportunity to play at home and we get an opportunity to play against a side that I think will ultimately be runaway league winners, as I’ve said all along. 

"We need to be prepared. You have to be coming up against Richie and the players they have are good. 

"We’re not too bad either so it has all the hallmarks of a good game. 

"Let’s hope everyone goes away and says it was a brilliant advert for League Two."

The magnitude of the game is not lost on the players either, as is the need to produce a much better performance than the one given in the 1-1 draw at Harrogate Town last Saturday.

Evans said: "This is one of those weeks in training where we don’t need to speak to the players about the importance of the fixture.

"They’ve certainly had conversations [among themselves], we’ve heard it around the building and on the training pitch. 

"We had that in the dressing room [at Harrogate]. We had very few words to say other than our standards were not maintained. 

"Standards are a collective effort, including me and the staff, but individually we were a notch down which made it a collective down."

"When you play one of the clubs in the bottom half, you have to tell your players that mentally they have to approach it as if they are playing the top team. 

"Well, we are playing the league leaders so it doesn’t come much tougher for us. 

"Mentally we will be focused on the job and players have to play with their heads as well as their hearts. 

"You should always play with your heart, whether you are a professional or an amateur, but we have to play with our heads as well and do much better than we’ve did at Harrogate. 

"That’s what let us down at Harrogate, it certainly wasn’t a lack of desire or effort. 

"We made enough chances to put the game to bed and it shows as you get later in the season, you need to take chances when they come, or a higher percentage as they get fewer. 

"It’s important that we play with real vigour and give our supporters a reason to be right behind us."