Doncaster Rovers: People had made me wrongly doubt over Andy Butler admits Darren Ferguson

There is a lesson in drawing conclusions about people from your own experiences rather than relying on the judgements of others.

Friday, 3rd February 2017, 04:58 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd February 2017, 12:26 pm
Andy Butler

That is the case when it comes to Andy Butler, certainly according to Darren Ferguson.

The Rovers boss admitted he was not initially ensure whether the centre half had the right attributes to perform in a Darren Ferguson system.

But he is full of praise for the manner in which Butler has adapted and improved to become one of key men in a flourishing Rovers side.

“I think he has improved massively, I really do,” Ferguson told The Star.

“He was a defender I hadn’t worked with before I came in and you can get a pre-perception of people.

“I think with Andy, people thought he’d have to defend deep and couldn’t play out from the back.

“But with the way we play, he’s done very well.

“We defend a high line and he does that very well.

“He knows his limitations but he’s improved massively on the ball.

“That’s through the work we’ve done with him but also the work he’s done himself.

“It’s meant he’s managed to stay in the team and performed very well.”

It is Butler’s performances this season that has seen him rewarded with a fresh deal, keeping him at the Keepmoat until the summer of 2018, along with James Coppinger.

The club captain has been a rock at the back throughout this campaign despite being part of a defensive line still in evolution before Christmas.

While team mates operating higher up the pitch have received the most plaudits, Butler has consistenly been one of the top performers this term.

Ferguson’s believes Butler’s upturn in form began late last season when Rovers were making their best effort at avoiding relegation.

He said: “I thought last season, towards the end when we started picking up again, Buts was one that stood out. His performances were good.”

That contribution, particularly his leadership skills, led to the Doncaster-born defender being handed the club captaincy in the summer.

“Both Andy and James Coppinger have been fantastic examples of what the club is all about,” Ferguson said earlier this week.

“The pair of them, who knows how long they can go on. Andy is only 32 and being a centre half makes it a bit easier on that front.”

Butler and Coppinger will both almost certainly start when Rovers host Morecambe on Saturday, looking for a sixth straight win.

Plymouth’s defeat at Yeovil Town on Tuesday ensured Rovers remain seven points clear at the top of League Two.