There will be a warm and friendly greeting when Steve Evans and Paul Warne meet on the Lamex Stadium touchline - but there will be no old pals act after that when Stevenage host Derby County.

The Boro boss brought Warne into his coaching set-up while he was manager of Rotherham United and has watched on like a proud father as the 50-year-old proved a success as boss of the Millers in his own right.

It earned him a switch to Derby but Evans revealed management was once never in the former midfielder's mind.

"He is somebody I like very much and somebody I respect very much," said the Boro boss.

"When I arrived at Rotherham United many moons ago, Paul was the BBC man – bibs, balls and cones and that’s what he was. 

"We took him under our wing. We invested time in him and he repaid it magnificently and he gave myself and Paul [Raynor] and chairman Tony Stewart a wonderful service. 

"He sat my office every day, three or four times a day, and said ‘I never want to be a manager’ and I think for the first year in the job, he didn’t. 

"But to be fair, he’s taken to it like a duck to water. 

"I think he has a completely different approach from myself at different times and he’s got staff around him that are endearing to him. 

"I knew he'd be a manager and I knew if he got a chance, he’d be a good one and it’s proven to be. 

"He became the third or fourth appointed in the [Rotherham] role after I left because they kept giving it to managers that didn't really deserve it. 

"But Warney got a chance and he was magnificent and he's earned the right to go onto Derby County. 

"He's a top guy and I’m looking forward to seeing him on Saturday." 

And managing a club with the stature of the Rams will be a true test of his managerial mettle according to his former gaffer.

"He is under pressure," said Evans. "I don’t think there's one Derby fan who will wake up on Saturday morning thinking that tiny Stevenage can beat Derby County.  

"For us it's a great day. We are hosting in a league game, so a level playing field, we're hosting in a league game a team that was the English champions. 

"It may have been a long time ago but it was in my lifetime. 

"They are a football club who commands and demands 30,000 fans most weeks, they are an incredible football club with fantastic facilities. 

"They have a training ground that equals anything in the Premier League and a stadium [too]. 

"They have a squad that's resourced to the highest level in League One and probably [equal to] a lot of Championship clubs. 

"That's the pressure that Paul has to take and then go and earn results.  

"But they got a good win in midweek, we watched all of that, and we watched the loss at Shrewsbury. 

"And even in that loss, they probably missed three of four gilt-edged chances. 

"But he freshened it up in the week and got a good win so they’ll come here confident but a bit nervous." 

And while Evans is full of respect for Saturday's opponents, he knows Boro are more than capable of springing a surprise and taking all three points.

The Stevenage manager said: "Going to Bristol Rovers was a big game for us, they are a big club in League One, but when you play Derby County, you’re playing the fixture everyone looked for at the start of the season. 

"Last year everyone looked for Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town, this season it is Derby County and Portsmouth and Charlton Athletic. 

"That’s the attraction of League One, there’s just that many giants. 

"We'll pay them the respect and the honour that we should do. Their supporters will travel in big numbers.

"We know the weapons [Warne] is bringing on his team coach. We know the quality of player they’ve got, they are an outstanding side.  

"They will be promoted in my opinion this season.  

"They just have to have a calmness about their next run through to Christmas and Paul will go into the market in January. I think he's already spoken about it.

"It's a great game for the town of Stevenage, Derby County coming here. It's fantastic and a huge challenge for us.  

"You know all around the country on Saturday there will be people having a bet and picking the teams they think will win and there will be no Stevenage going on those slips but there will be lots of Derby. 

"From our point of view, we just have to try and cause an upset like we've done a few times in the last 18 months."