Steve Evans wants Stevenage to follow the example of Eddie Howe and Newcastle United when they kick-off their League One campaign. 

Boro's win over Grimsby Town meant they were guaranteed to be playing in the third tier of English football for the 2023-2024 season. 

And the boss knows they won't be expected to stay there for very long, but that is where the example of the high-flying Magpies, third in the Premier League with four games to go, comes in. 

"We'll be favourites again," said Evans. "We were favourites for relegation in League Two and we’ll be favourites for relegation in League One.  

"But I think we all [love to upset the form-book], even at the highest levels of the game.  

"I'm sure there's people in the Premier League, I'm sure Eddie Howe and his staff up at Newcastle are absolutely enthralled because everyone was writing about chaos at the start of last summer, the ownership change means it’s chaos.  

"But Eddie went to work and it's the majority of players that he kept that is making the team, not so much the new guys, and he’ll take enormous pride at what he has built in the dressing room.  

"We're the same, we'll be favourites and we understand that." 

He is also aware that the step up in division will bring clubs of bigger stature and standing in the game. 

That though will be another positive to the new season. 

The boss said: "Reading are now confirmed as relegated, Blackpool and Wigan were relegated a few weeks ago.  

"These are three great clubs and I’ve not even started looking at the Charltons or Portsmouths that are already there.  

"It’s going to be such a fantastic league and for the people of Stevenage, they’ll drive by the Lamex and they'll see the next fixture up on the board and there will be some big names up there.  

"And that will convince a lot of people, who have perhaps not been regulars, that they will see a lot of good football and recognise some big clubs so attendances will be up. 

"We've got to make sure that we are really strong at home, as we've been most of this season, and make sure that we bring a different dynamic to the playing squad that allows us to win away from home."