Andy Butler's frustration as Doncaster Rovers show workrate far too late
Andy Butler admitted feeling frustrated at the fact his Doncaster Rovers side have begun to deliver hard working performances too late in the season.
Rovers effort levels could not be questioned despite slipping to a 2-1 defeat at Accrington Stanley which has likely ended their hopes of a top six finish.
It followed a hard fought win at Shrewsbury Town at the weekend, which ended a winless run where doubts were raised over the commitment of certain players to the cause.
After the loss at Accrington, Butler said the players have demonstrated they are capable of delivering workate in matches once more, but he takes little consolation from that.
“They’ve shown they can do it in the last two games,” he said. “Although the result wasn’t there, the workrate was.
“It’s disappointing that it takes up to these last six games to realise that hard work equals a performance and a performance equals the points.
Two Dion Charles penalties gave Accrington the win, after Tyreece John-Jules had come off the bench to equalise for Rovers, who now sit six points off sixth spot with no games in hand over current occupants Charlton Athletic.
Butler declined the chance to concede defeat in the battle for the top six and called on his players to keep fighting over the final five games of the campaign.
“You keep going, you have to keep going,” he said.
“I’ve said that to the players. Play for personal pride - whether it’s for a new contract, a move somewhere else or your parent club, you don’t let your standards slip.
“If you do then someone is going to take your position and that is as simple as the message can be.
“You don’t give up. I will never give up.”
Butler had little argument with the two penalties conceded by Joe Wright and Ellery Balcombe.
He said: “I thought the first one was a little bit soft if I’m being honest. The lad took an extra step but if you dangle a leg the referee has a decision to make.
“The second one, Ellery made the first mistake and then has gone chasing it and has unfortunately conceded the penalty.
“All the hard work that you put in, especially in the second half, you come away with nothing.”