A little less conversation...Andy Butler only wants actions from his Doncaster Rovers side

The message from Andy Butler to his Doncaster Rovers players on Monday morning was simple - actions speak louder than words.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 6:00 am

Butler has run out of patience with positive comments and training ground progress when it does not lead to much-needed improvement from his side on a matchday.

And as they look to end an eight match winless run when they host Burton Albion tonight, a better performance is the only thing Butler is looking for.

“I questioned them about what motivates them to succeed,” he said.

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Andy Butler

“Ultimately it goes down to them on the pitch. You ask them, you get the right answers but actions speak louder than words.

“It’s up to them now to go out and really prove it to myself and the staff who have given them the ammunition to go out and do their job.”

Rovers have dropped to six points off the play-off places, though continue to hold games in hand over the sides above them in the table.

Butler says he will not give up hope of a top six finish until it is no longer possible - but insists there should be plenty of motivation for his players regardless of the stakes.

“Until there is a mathematical chance we cannot get into the play-offs, we have to give everything we can.

“Even after that, we need to play for personal pride.

“That is what I want to get across - playing for personal pride.

“If the play-offs aren’t reachable, and attainable, you have to look for something else to get motivation from it.”

Butler for the first time questioned the application and desire of his players following Saturday’s defeat to Wigan Athletic.

While he would not say if any player had dropped out of contention for a place in his side, Butler insisted he would not tolerate anything less than full effort.

“I think it would be unfair of me to come out and say someone has done that,” he said. “People will make mistakes, and I can accept them.

“I just don’t want to see someone running past someone on a recovery run. Everyone is capable of sprinting back, or sprinting forward. It goes both ways - defend together and attack together.

“I don’t want to see any of the opposition’s players running faster or further past our players. It’s unacceptable. I’d never let that happen as a player and I don’t want that as a manager.”

There have been some members of the squad who have received little game time during the last few weeks.

And Butler wants those individuals to be knocking on his door asking why they have not been featuring at a time when results for Rovers have been poor.

“They have to be hungry if they want to be a professional footballer, that is the harsh reality of it,” Butler said.

“If they don’t come knocking on my door and don’t ask questions, they’re not hungry enough and they’re in the wrong business.

“The players that haven’t been involved, it’s their opportunity to come and knock and ask questions why they aren't playing if the team is not getting results.”

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.