Stevenage manager Steve Evans told Harrison Neal that his choice of move would have been to Carlisle United too.

The young midfielder signed a permanent deal with the Cumbrians after initially being recalled from his loan spell at Boro by Sheffield United.

But the Stevenage boss admitted that Neal would have been in line for a place in the FA Cup tie with Maidstone United on Saturday, had he been available for selection.

Evans said: "You look at Young Harrison Neal, we're playing [Maidstone on Saturday] who play in a similar way to Burton Albion and by a country mile, Harrison Neal was man of the match against Burton [last month]. 

"But he got an opportunity to move to play for Paul Simpson. 

"He rang me up and said he three options and he talked me through them. 

"And he asked me my opinion and I suggested Carlisle. 

"He’s going to a good manager, a big club with big support and new ownership.  

"Everything's right for Harrison up there."

Neal was one of three loan players recalled by their Premier League parent clubs this week.

"Krisztian Hegyi came in from West Ham and did really well," said the Stevenage gaffer.

"At one point we had to make the call on whether the number one was Taye Ashby-Hammond or Hegyi and if I said it was a horse race, it would have been by a short head that Taye got the shirt. 

"He’s then done well enough to keep it. 

"Charlie McNeill came in [from Manchester United] and then had a little niggle and then the strikers were scoring so it made it more difficult. 

"But they are three great lads and we wish them well. 

"I'm sure we'll be playing against Harrison in March when we play Carlisle and maybe Hegyi too as I understand he is talking to a couple of League One clubs."

They head to Kent for that FA Cup third round match minus a recognised number two keeper but while they are in talks to sign one, young Rylee Mitchell will be given the job.

Evans said: "We've got young Rylee with us at Maidstone. He's very confident and he trains with us most days.

"Last time we promoted [Max Woodford] above him because Rylee was injured and then two weeks ago, he was training with England. 

"We’ve got him but we are talking to a number of clubs to give Taye some real fierce competition, that would be the words we use. 

"But I would have no qualms if we had to introduce Rylee at some time at Maidstone or in the next couple of weeks, if we don’t get our business done."