In March Balby-born centre-back Butler was put in charge of his hometown team, and ended a five-match winless sequence with back-to-back victories. They have won none of the nine games since, however, failing to pick up a point in their last five League One encounters.
From genuine contenders for automatic promotion thanks to their games in hand, they travel to Shrewsbury Town for Saturday’s early kick-off eight points outside the play-off places with an extra match on Portsmouth.
The last two defeats have been particularly hard to take, 4-1 at a Wigan Athletic side who were in the relegation zone yet took a 3-0 lead inside 35 minutes, and 3-0 to Burton Albion, who despite vastly-improved form under former Leeds United striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink are still only 17th.
“We spoke after the Wigan game about how we felt we were letting him (Butler) down and we know him not just as a player but a person so we want to give him the best chance (of getting the job permanently),” said on-loan Manchester City midfielder Matt Smith. “That’s been disappointing that we haven’t been able to do that.
“We had a chat after the Wigan game as players and we spoke after the Burton game about what needed to be done and what we can do to get out of this situation.”
It is not just that Doncaster are losing. In five of the last 15 matches they have conceded three or more goals.
“We seem to struggle after we concede one,” admitted Smith. “They always seem to score again pretty quickly so it might be mental. We have spoken in the past about our reaction when we concede, which needs to get better.
“We just have to work on things a game at a time and hopefully improve game on game.”
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