Andy Butler confident Doncaster Rovers can tighten up defensively

All smiles: Andy Butler
All smiles: Andy Butler

Andy Butler sat down with the local press yesterday ‘gutted’ that his faulty Christmas jumper failed to light up for the television cameras.

“You get what you pay for,” bemoaned Butler, who had hotfooted it from Cantley Park where the squad had just enjoyed Christmas dinner together.

His snazzy knitwear might have failed him but the 33-year-old centre back is more confident that he and his Rovers teammates can iron out the faults in their defensive armour - and ensure spirits remain high at the Keepmoat Stadium over the festive period.

Despite sitting third in the table, Rovers have shipped 30 goals in 20 League Two games - one more than bottom side Newport County.

Ahead of tomorrow’s eagerly anticipated home clash with Grimsby Town, club captain Butler was asked whether he took criticism of Doncaster’s defensive record personally.

“As a defender you take pride in clean sheets and we know we haven’t kept enough of them,” he conceded.

“We’ve been working hard to improve, but it’s a team collective in which we concede goals and it’s not just about the defenders and the goalkeeper.

“We’ve been working on it, trying to improve it and I’m confident we will.

“If we keep a clean sheet we’ve got enough goals in this team to win games, so that’s the basis that we need to start working on.

“The chances are when teams are putting long throws into your box - and the majority of them do in this league - that one of them is going to ricochet somewhere,” he added. “It’s difficult to defend them sometimes. But I do take pride in clean sheets - and we need more of them.”