Doncaster Rovers denied 'barnstormer' but Andy Butler wants them to go out with a bang

Andy Butler is frustrated his Doncaster Rovers side do not have the "barnstorming" finish to the season their South Yorshire neighbours will in the Championship, but he wants to see them build on the last two performances and finish the League One campaign on a high.

Unlike Tuesday hosts Blackpool, who need a point realistically or three to be certain to book their place, Doncaster can no longer reach the play-offs, something which was firmly in their own hands when interim manager Butler took over from Darren Moore in early March.

A run of five points from a possible 36 put paid to that, but a draw at promoted Peterborough United and a win at relegated Rochdale in the last two matches have shown what the squad is capable of, perhaps playing better with the pressure off.

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Either way, Butler wants to see more of it in the final two games, at Blackpool on Tuesday and at home to Peterborough on Sunday's final day.

FRUSTRATION: Doncaster Rovers interim manager Andy ButlerFRUSTRATION: Doncaster Rovers interim manager Andy Butler
FRUSTRATION: Doncaster Rovers interim manager Andy Butler

"More of the same, really," said Butler when asked what he wanted from the last two matches. "I want us to finish the season with some positive performances and some positive collective performances to show people we can still mix it with the best teams in the league because Blackpool and Peterborough are as tough as they come.

"We want to finish on a high and make some momentum for next season, make a feel-good factor. Everyone's disappointed at not making the play-offs, and know all the fans, the staff and the players are. We're frustrated.

"It's disappointing not to be in the play-offs. I think with the squad we've got we've done well but there's been a few performances where we have let ourselves down.

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"(The last two matches) have been really good. There's still things we can get better at but overall performance-wise I can't really question the players.

"I was really pleased with the way we applied ourselves in the game against Rochdale. We made some really penetrating hard runs that really caused them problems."

These could be Butler's last two matches as manager, just as they will be the final games for many players - some out of contract, one (James Coppinger) retiring, others at the end of loans and some in danger of being sold on when next season's manager has his first transfer window at Rovers.

"It's a strange one when people believe there's nothing to play for," commented Butler, who has no fresh injuries to contend with. "If you look at the two neighbouring clubs, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham, they've got a barnstorming finish to the season.

"You want the season to finish with something to play for.

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"The only thing we can play for now is the motivation and to put the performances in we missed out on earlier in the season.

"We can't get into the play-offs but at the same time we've still got to use whatever motivates you as a person. There's a lot of people out of contract and a lot of people who will return to loan clubs, so finish with a bang."

Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham might not be so jealous of Doncaster, given their barnstorming finales will see at least one and possibly both relegated this week, setting up derbies with Doncaster in 2021-22.

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