Andy Butler ready for Northampton reunion in new era at Doncaster Rovers
What a difference three months can make.
When Doncaster Rovers visited Northampton Town in early December, Andy Butler was handed his first league appearance of the season and turned in a commanding performance that sparked a run of 15 consecutive starts.
A lot has changed since.
As Rovers prepare to welcome Northampton this afternoon, Butler’s playing days are behind him and he will spend the afternoon in the technical area as manager looking to complete the double over the Cobblers.
“It was a funny old game,” he said of December’s 2-0 win which began a run of nine wins from ten league matches.
“Coming back into the starting XI for the first time and then getting a stud down my ankle.
“It was an eye-opening game for us and this one will be on Saturday.
“Hopefully we can take advantage of a mistake there but it’s about keeping calm on the pitch and using the experience we’ve got to get the result.
“[Playing] was enjoyable while it lasted but that’s gone now and I can’t affect that.
“I’m fully focused on managing a strong Doncaster Rovers side and a Rovers side that represents myself now.”
The Cobblers too have changed their manager since the reverse fixture with Jon Brady stepping in on an interim basis after the sacking of Keith Curle last month.
Brady has helped steady the ship for the relegation-threatened side, with two wins and two draws in eight matches, including a 4-1 thumping of Portsmouth.
And Butler knows Rovers will be in for a tough afternoon.
“I’m expecting a side that will scrap and fight for every single ball,” he said.
“We went down to their place earlier on in the season and got a victory but at the same time they had a man sent off.
“It was a tough game even against ten men.
“It’s all about what we do though and I keep emphasising that to the players.
“The opposition keep coming thick and fast with their different styles but if we stick to what we do and play to our strengths then I’ll have no issue with the side I put out.
“If you get a performance then the results will follow.
“But Northampton are a strong side and we’ll fully respect them for what they are.”