Stevenage will need to take a leaf out of Muhammad Ali's playbook if they are to win "at a very tough away ground".

Boro head to Blackpool on Saturday for their latest League One fixture and manager Steve Evans has the feats of a sporting hero of his firmly in mind.

And while he doesn't consider the Seasiders to be any sort of dopes, he is preparing his side to expect a barrage at Bloomfield Road.

He said: "You have to be able to stay in the game and every time you go away from home, you almost have to put in your head that it is a cup tie, winner takes all. 

"I can remember, I'm changing sports now, but I can remember way back in the day when I was a kid and I was a big Muhammad Ali fan. 

I can remember him getting smashed to pieces by George Foreman and then winning the fight, think maybe he knocked him out or something. 

"But he won the fight and I remember the conversation in the family being he had absorbed and absorbed and then he stung. 

"That was his saying wasn’t it, sting like a bee?

"What we’ve got to do is stay in the game and in every game we play, whether it is home or away, we have to rely on the fact that we've got good players, we've got match winners and we've got fit players. 

"We've certainly got the most competitive players anywhere in the league and I wouldn’t swap them for anyone." 

But, while he wouldn't swap his current players for anyone, he was full of admiration for the squad assembled in Lancashire by manager Neil Critchley, someone he has huge respect for.

"They're a very decent side," said the Boro boss, "and you only had to look at the reaction of my old fitness coach, Paul Warne, when he and Derby got a great result two weeks ago, won 3-1. 

"I've seen Warney get excited at football many times, but he got really excited about that victory and so he should because it's a really tough place to go. 

"I speak about the manager, Neil Critchley, in glowing terms. 

"I get on fantastically well with him. I learned from him and I’d like to think he’d say he learnt from me, at least in the early days when he initially took the job at Blackpool. 

"He called me up and we had some chats. 

"And I think every manager who coaches in the league would take the playing staff at Blackpool. 

"I'm not saying they would swap them for what they've got, but you would take it. It's a really good group. 

"They've made terrific signings and does it get better than bringing Jordan Rhodes in during the window? That's just a fantastic signing.  

"Do you have better players in the building than CJ Hamilton, who I had at Mansfield, it was and is a wonderful player. 

"Their team is littered with them but we’re going on the team coach with some really good players as well and we want to make the game competitive. 

"We want to be in the game at Blackpool on 70 minutes and as I've always said, there'll be better teams in League One but there will certainly not be a fitter team than us. 

"We pride ourselves on the fact we go until the end and we’ll hopefully be going to the end of Blackpool." 

Alex MacDonald definitely misses out through suspension but Luther James-Wildin could be available, despite being stretchered off to hospital against Wigan Athletic last Saturday, following an accidental clash of heads with skipper Carl Piergianni.

Evans said: "Luther is cleared by protocol to play but we’ll assess him [on Friday] and see how he is. 

"We’ve got one or two others with knocks from the [EFL Trophy game with Wycombe] and Saturday but we'll keep them within the camp.  

"But we'll hopefully have everyone that we want to have available out on the grass. 

"Anyone who's a doubt when we go out there simply won't be in the squad. 

"We’ve got enough good players in this building that a 100 per cent fit player beats an 80 to 90 per cent fit player for me every day of the week. 

"We trust everyone to pull on that shirt and be competitive at a really tough away ground."