Stevenage had to do it the hard way but the boss was simply gushing in his praise of the players after a come-from-behind win at Wigan Athletic.

Twice the Latics had gone in front in the first half, Josh Magennis scoring a penalty and then Therlo Aasgaard on target.

Jamie Reid had got the first equaliser before half-time and goals from Carl Piergianni and Louis Thompson gave them a 3-2 win at the DW Stadium, lifting them back into the League One play-off places.

The manner of the victory was what delighted the gaffer.

"We've had to dig in deep," said Evans. "They [haven’t lost many here], only to Manchester United and Derby County, which demonstrates how good our performance had to be. 

"We had two big individual errors for their goals and it makes it more difficult.  

"At half-time we said we weren’t going to change anything because we were in the game. We'd be 1-0 up if not for the individual errors. 

"But we’ve got honesty and integrity in the dressing room and both lads walked in with their hands up and apologising to the staff and the group. 

"It's nice to hear, but we don't need to hear it, just as long as they know. 

"I think we dominated for long spells [after the break]. They were always a threat on the counter but captain fantastic got another brilliant header.  

"I could kiss him, he's a fantastic man and he knows what I think of him. 

"It made us believe and we made the changes to win. You’re better off trying to win a game and be prepared to lose it than not try at all. 

"It's brilliant play for the [winner] and it's a brilliant strike. 

"It’s just a really good result ahead of a really brilliant period for the club in February."

Evans had made five changes to the side that last played two weeks ago at Shrewsbury Town, that a 1-0 win. 

New signings Craig MacGillivray and Vadaine Oliver made debuts while Harvey White had a first start.

And he admitted, it was a selection that left him with lots to ponder.

The boss said: "For a week we couldn't go outside. That made it really difficult for us. We looked after some, worked with some others and then we all come back in together on Monday with. 

"We had the worst training ground game on Monday in the wind and the rain but the practice match on Tuesday was simply stunning. 

"And I can genuinely say that in all my time at the club, this was the hardest selection I’ve made. 

"I sat with Paul and Alex and Ian and we had lots of debates last night. I need my staff to be honest and we had lots of different teams and formations. 

"But they told me to go and sit in my room after breakfast, look out the window and pick the team. 

"I’m sure some supporters would have been surprised and if you win, it’s easy to say you got it right. 

"But there were some big decisions."

With one week to go in the transfer window there may be some more changes to the squad.

And Evans revealed that White had been on his way out on loan before forcing his way into the starting XI.

The boss said: "I think the chairman and Leon Hunger are on Paracetamol now – constantly awaiting my phone call asking for one more.  

"I’ve never had any interference [from Phil Wallace]. He tries to support me. 

"He does say we need to balance things but we need our good players.  

"We've never disputed that Harvey White is a good player but sometimes, you just need a little thing to go in your favour,  

"Jake Forster-Caskey gets ill for a few days and you wonder about the balance on the left. 

"Then in the same week you watch Harvey become the Harvey White we saw at Tottenham. 

"I think the players and the staff were surprised when I said Harvey's playing, but they also weren't surprised given how well he played all week. 

"These eyes are not pickled onions. I can’t sit and watch Harvey White dominate in that practice match on Tuesday, dominate with some brilliant play, and then not pick him. 

"He’s had a special week in training.

"He was going out on loan two days ago but I'm watching training and I'm thinking 'he's going nowhere'."