'We've lacked in recruiting experience' - Andy Butler on Doncaster Rovers' disparity in fitness and the causes

Andy Butler believes a lack of experience in the Doncaster Rovers squad is a key factor in them being outfought by opposition teams.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 6:00 am

Butler questioned the comparative fitness of the squad following Saturday’s defeat to Fleetwood Town and believes the youthfulness of the group has played a major role.

“I think we’re a really young side and if you look at teams around us they’ve got experience of managing games,” he said.

“A lot of the players we’ve got have not actually had full seasons.

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Andy Butler

“You can have a burnout of players, especially the young players, especially with the games coming thick and fast where you can’t have the full recovery.

“They're playing games now which they’ve never done before and they’re playing in such a tight schedule where you’re asking them to do things their bodies have never done before.

“They are still young players. Looking at that and lots of teams have strength in depth that we just don’t have at the moment.

“We’ve got a really young bench and I think we’ve lacked this season in recruiting experience.”

Rovers were outfought and outran by Fleetwood on Saturday as they turned in an incredibly lethargic performance in the 1-0 loss.

Though he has concerns over fitness and energy levels, Butler is pressing on with preparations for arguably the toughest game of his tenure as boss with Rovers set to visit title-chasing Peterborough United on Tuesday.

And he says there can be no let up from his players.

“I spoke to the players after the game and told them they needed to recover properly and focus on Tuesday,” he said.

“If you think the season is over then you’re mistaken because we’ve got four very tough games.

“You’ve got two teams fighting for promotion and one of them is virtually there.

“And you’ve got one fighting to stave off relegation.

“If you think your holidays are already here, you’re mistaken.

“These games are tough and they’re tougher than the ones you’ve already played.

“Peterborough are on a fantastic role but we have to go there now and try to finish the season on a positive note.

“If we can upset their title charge then it’s up to us. That’s what we’ve got to go there to do.

“It’s a challenge for the players.”

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