Doncaster Rovers boss explains leaving players up when defending corners

Of all the changes of approach Doncaster Rovers demonstrated under new boss Andy Butler, this was perhaps the most striking.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 6:00 am

The sight of three Rovers playing staying up the pitch when their side was defending a corner.

Under previous boss Darren Moore, Rovers would rarely leave any players close to the half way line in such circumstances.

And Butler explained it was designed to force visitors Portsmouth into a tough decision over whether to look to make the set piece count or guard against a potential Rovers break.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Josh Sims was one of the Rovers players who stayed high up the pitch when Rovers were defending corners. Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX

“Paul Gerrard and myself spoke about it and just thought why not?” he said.

“If we defend the ball well, then we’ve got three players up the pitch. They will sometimes have to leave four back and if they don’t they’re susceptible to the counter attack.

“You’re playing cat and mouse with the opposition.

“One week it might work, the next week it might not.

“It’s about moving forward and not standing still and becoming predictable.”

*

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. Nancy Fielder, editor.