Doncaster Rovers: Ex-Saddler Andy Butler focused as past meets present

Andy Butler
Andy Butler

Andy Butler is perfectly placed to contrast the past and present philosophies that will be on show at the Keepmoat Stadium this weekend.

The former Walsall defender is quick to sing the praises of the Saddlers’ former Rovers coach Richard O’Kelly.

And he insists his old and new clubs are not a million miles away when it comes to their overall approaches.

“Richard’s been brilliant there,” said Butler, who was in the Walsall team that beat Rovers 3-0 earlier in the season.

“They’re all about reactions when the ball’s out of play - that’s when you’re most likely to concede or be vulnerable to a counter attack because no one’s got hold of the ball properly.

“He’s brought that philosophy into there and it’s worked really well. They’ve got into the JPT final, so well done to them.

“Every club’s different in how they go about things.

“Everyone has their input here. The gaffer’s big on asking people’s opinions, so it’s not that different [to Walsall].

“I think, as a player, you do really buy into what the manager’s trying to do,” he added.

“Here it’s all about working hard. That’s what the gaffer was big on when he was a player and you can see that rubbing off on people now.”

After spending four seasons at Walsall, Butler will “put friendships to one side for 90 minutes” on Saturday.

“I speak to the goalkeeper [Richard O’Donnell] a lot,” he said. “We used to travel to training together and I think he misses me.

“One way or another someone’s going to get a missed call after the game!

“I had some good times there but there’ll be no mixed emotions this weekend - I’m fully concentrated on Doncaster.”