Andy Butler not expecting repeat of history for Doncaster Rovers at Gillingham
Andy Butler believes Doncaster Rovers are in for a completely different test when they meet Gillingham for the second time this season this afternoon.
Rovers beat the Gills 2-1 in December, producing one of their best 45 minute spells of the season so far in a dominant first half at the Keepmoat.
Butler believes a combination of factors will make that difficult to replicate at the Priestfield Stadium, including the state of the pitch and the preparation of their hosts.
“I think the first half was very good against Gillingham and they struggled to deal with that,” he said.
“I think it’ll be a very different game at their place. I think the Keepmoat pitch is probably the best pitch in the league.
“That has to go into the game plan as well because pitches haven’t been as good this year because of the amount of games on them in a short space of time and no chance for them to recover.
“I’m sure they’ve done their homework on us and think they can press us high and win the ball back. We’ve got to look at them and see where we can exploit them if they jump on us.”
Gillingham have made a strong charge towards the play-off places by winning four of their last five games, including an impressive triumph over Lincoln City in midweek.
Butler knows Rovers will be in for a tough test against a physical and direct outfit.
He said: “They’ve done a fantastic job. They’re a difficult side and they’re on a good run of form.
“We watched the Lincoln game and they approached it very similar to how they’ve approached every other game.
“I’ll get it across to the players that this is a very tough game and they’ll be playing a team on form but at the same time we feel there are areas we can exploit and hurt them.
“It’s up to my job to get the team ready for the weekend.”
Gillingham will assess Connor Ogilvie and Alex MacDonald ahead of the arrival of Rovers with both having suffered injuries against Lincoln.