Andy Butler explains why he thinks Doncaster Rovers will be smarter and wiser next season

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Andy Butler expects Doncaster Rovers to be older and wiser next season.

The 34-year-old centre back, named Rovers’ Player of the Year at The Star’s football awards earlier this week, is part of a small core of key senior players at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Andy Butler

Andy Butler

A degree of naivety has cost Doncaster a top half finish upon their return to the third tier.

But Butler says the club’s younger element - the likes of Joe Wright, Niall Mason, Ben Whiteman and Alfie Beestin - will have all benefited from a season in League One when the new campaign gets underway.

“I think we need a few additions,” said Butler, ahead of tomorrow’s final game of the season at home to promoted Wigan Athletic.

“But if we keep the squad together I don’t think we’re far off.

“We’ve had a lot of young players in the team this year and not many players have played in League One. There’s only a few that have.

“I think those players learning from their experiences will pay dividends next season.

“We’ve conceded a few last minute goals which have cost us points and if we got those points we’d be pushing top six, top ten.

“It’s just the little things we need to learn from and I’m sure we will.”

While the Latics require one point to wrap up the league title, Rovers are hoping to finish on a high following five games without a win.

“You can’t really question the players’ application and effort,” said Butler. “I think we’ve just needed a little more quality in the final third and in general.

“But it’s been okay this season as a whole.

“Yes, we possibly could’ve done better in certain aspects of our game. But overall I think it’s been quite a positive season.

“People might think we’ve switched off but we haven’t. We’ve continued to do everything that we have done all the way through the season.

“It’s just results haven’t followed. It’s one more game to go now and every player will put everything in. No player will switch off until the final whistle is blown.”