'What better test for your first game' - Andy Butler happy to be thrown in deep end as Doncaster Rovers boss

One of the most significant days in the life of Andy Butler started early and was set to run until late.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 3:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 3:39 pm

Handed the job of manager at Doncaster Rovers first thing on Monday morning, he was sprung into action quickly by the necessity of preparing the team for tonight’s game with promotion rivals Portsmouth.

At 5.30pm, he was just leaving the Keepmoat, having spent time with HR crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s on the changes to the terms of his employment.

By that time his contact with his family over the dramatic alterations to his circumstances had been limited to a few WhatsApp messages.

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Andy Butler watches his players in training on his first day as Doncaster Rovers manager. Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX

There was much for loved ones to catch up one, but there was also the pressing matter of further preparation for the Pompey clash, including formulating in his mind who will make up his first starting XI he will name as Rovers boss.

“I got there at the training ground this morning and spoke to the staff and the players,” Butler said.

“We had a meeting about the game, then literally went straight onto the training pitch, got the training done.

“I sat down with Rob [Lee, head of sports science] and looked through the stats of the training session.

“I spoke to Mary [Lally, secretary]. While I was eating I spoke to Alex [Bailey] the analyst.

“Then I rushed to the stadium to do media and later on I’ll get to look at the Portsmouth game even more.”

Even without in-depth analysis of the test Portsmouth will provide, Butler knows he is in for a tough maiden outing as Rovers boss.

But he sees that as the perfect test to kick off his tenure.

“They’re a tough side, a very tough side and Kenny Jackett organises his team very well,” Butler said.

“When we went down to their place earlier in the season we got the victory but they’re a good team who have had some good results on their travels.

“We all know what players they’ve got in and we’re relishing the challenge.

“What better way to test yourselves than against a top six team in your first game as manager. Testing yourself against the best in the division, that’s what I want.

“I want to keep striving forward. Hopefully the players want to come with me.”

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