Doncaster Rovers: Andy Butler delighted with set piece performance – at both ends of the pitch

Andy Butler
Andy Butler
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Andy Butler says he is relishing Doncaster Rovers' new method for defending set pieces.

Boss Grant McCann opted for a change in approach after vulnerability at set pieces proved costly and helped contribute to Rovers' disappointing run of form through October and into November.

Guided by goalkeeping coach Paul Gerrard, Rovers adopted a hybrid method of part man-marking and part zonal marking, which has helped give the side greater strength in recent weeks.

And Butler believes that is due to the freedom it gives defenders to meet the ball as it is delivered in.

"I think we've nailed on the set pieces at the moment with Gez," Butler said.

"We all sat down together and discussed what we were going to do.

"Defensively I think we look a lot more solid, people know their roles and it allows freedom to those who want to head the ball to go and do it.

"You ask any centre half if you give them a free role to go and attack a header, they'll love it.

"Tom Anderson eats that for breakfast.

"If you have that one responsibility of this is your space and head the ball, I thrive on that."

It was at the opposite end of the pitch where Rovers shone from set pieces in Saturday's win over Charlton Athletic.

Both goals in the 2-0 triumph came from dead ball deliveries, with Butler himself heading in his 50th career goal from a corner before powering a ball back across goal from a free kick to set up John Marquis for the second.

"I takes me to 50 career goals that," Butler said.

"It'd have been 51 if John hadn't taken it off me one inch off the line.

"I'm happy for John to score, he works so hard and deserves a goal.

"Danny Andrew put two unbelievable balls in and it made it a lot easier for me to attack.

"Whoever scores goals for the team, I'm happy for them.

"A goal and an assist is good, but it'd have been nice to have had two.  

"Attacking wise we seem to have scored from either the first ball or the second ball which is pleasing because we do work on it."