Paul Goodwin: Mathieu Baudry can get Doncaster Rovers on the front foot
Mathieu Baudry's move to Doncaster Rovers might have got off on the wrong foot.
But the French defender - who faces his former club Leyton Orient on Saturday - could play a very big role in keeping Rovers on the path to promotion.
The 28-year-old centre back has endured a frustrating start to life at the Keepmoat Stadium after an Achilles injury he sustained right at the start of pre-season kept him sidelined till late September.
His first league start then happened to coincide with Rovers’ worst defensive display of the season at Blackpool.
But all the signs on Saturday against Hartlepool United suggested Baudry is ready to stamp his cultured mark on this team.
After forging a decent partnership with Andy Butler, Joe Wright could consider himself very unlucky to be dropped for the aforementioned Blackpool game and currently find himself warming the bench. The youngster appeared to do very little wrong and his confidence now appears to have taken a slight knock.
Darren Ferguson was quite clearly keen to get Baudry into the side as quickly as possible.
And against Pools he showed exactly why with the way he played the ball out from the back and got Rovers on the front foot with his careful and considered use of possession.
The number of long, often hopeful, diagonal balls - which seemed to be creeping more and more into Rovers’ play recently - appeared to decrease as Baudry brought out the ball with confidence and moved it forward accurately and also with purpose.
Building from the back is exactly what Baudry was brought into do, that’s where he has the edge over Wright, and his excellent distribution helped Doncaster turn in a much-improved performance against Pools.
Maintaining those standards is a must against Orient. If Rovers continue to press and pass like that they will make it three straight wins.