Doncaster Rovers v Leyton Orient: Baudry is ready to become a familiar face at last

If Mathieu Baudry walked down the streets of Doncaster this morning it is a fair bet most Rovers fans would not recognise him.

20 October 2012.....     Hull City v Ipswich Town
Tigers Jay Simpson
20 October 2012..... Hull City v Ipswich Town Tigers Jay Simpson

For the Frenchman has had little time to impress his new employers after a summer move from Leyton Orient.

The 28-year-old defender was forced to have surgery on a persistent heel injury in pre-season which meant he was sidelined for the opening two months.

He was forced to watch as Rovers built a solid platform as they looked to build a promotion campaign back to League One.

Nathan Smith and Mathieu Baudry. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Even when Baudry was finally handed his first league start by Darren Ferguson, Rovers slumped to a 4-2 defeat at Blackpool.

Hardly a result to raise your profile in a town still licking their wounds after relegation in May.

But Baudry is a rare breed in League Two, a division where defenders are normally made of granite, in that he is a cultured centre-back, who likes to bring the ball out at his feet.

Back-to-back wins against Exeter and Hartlepool United leave Rovers sitting third, five points off leaders Plymouth but with a game in hand.

Doncaster's John Marquis

“Personally, I think this season has been frustrating, it probably started the worst way it could when you move to a new team,” said former Bournemouth defender Baudry.

“Getting injured straightaway, for a long time, was frustrating. The positive is the team has done really well.

“That makes it harder to come back, because if you have a bad result you know how people will react.

“But I am staying cool, trying to do my stuff, I know where I am at and can judge myself quite well. I know what I can bring to the team.

Nathan Smith and Mathieu Baudry. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“Don’t get me wrong, I am really happy the team has been doing well.

“When the team is doing well, you are not needed so when you come back it’s harder. The lads have been great, though, and I just have to keep working hard and the best will come from me.

“I have been quite happy with the way I have been playing, considering I have been out for such a long time.

“I know people will say I came back and we conceded four at Blackpool, but I never judge myself on results.

Doncaster's John Marquis

“I try to concentrate on what I am doing well. When we win, and don’t concede, I know there may be some bad stuff I have done.”

An example of Baudry’s low profile came last weekend, when he and team-mate John Marquis – who netted in the 2-1 win over Hartlepool – went out for a meal.

“On Sunday, I was with John and we went for food, and there was a Rovers fan,” said Baudry.

“He said to John ‘well done yesterday’, and I was sat next to him and I was like….

“He didn’t recognise me, and this is the first interview I have done (at Rovers). I keep a low profile and that doesn’t really bother me.

“At Leyton I was being interviewed every week, this is different, and people there just knew me.

“I just keep working, there is a lot of football to be played, and I want to be a big part of this team.

“John has been playing so well, scoring, he has become a fans’ favourite and I am so happy for him. He’s a character and makes me laugh.

“I hope he can continue scoring goals because it takes a bit of pressure off the rest of us.”

Baudry had hoped rest would cure a heel injury he picked up last season, but those hopes were dashed in pre-season.

He said: “Last season I had an inflamed heel, but I kept playing with it.

“During the summer, I thought it was going to be all right, I rested, but as soon as I started training in pre-season it just got worse.

“I went to see a specialist, but it’s fine now and the best I have felt for a long time.

“It’s been so frustrating at a new club as well.

“When you move to a new club, you get to know other players and bond with each other.

“When you are injured, I have been bonding, but with people who have been injured with me in the physio room.

“Then when you start training, you want to impress, but you are only just coming back from injury and not 100 per cent,” added the Frechman

Today, Baudry comes up against his former Orient team, having rejected a new deal to stay with the London club in May.

He dismisses suggestions that he will be looking to impress his former club this afternoon.

“I spent enough time at Orient, they know all about me, and I don’t need to impress anyone there,” he said. “I left because I wanted to leave, it was my decision.

“I have got a great relationship with the fans and the players still there, I don’t want to impress them.

“If there’s anyone I want to impress, it’s the people at Doncaster Rovers, my manager, team-mates and the fans.

“I spent four years there, a big part of my career, and people who I really appreciate are there.

“I hope they do well, hopefully they can start picking up results after this weekend.”

Now Baudry is injury-free and back playing, what are his ambitions for this season?

“I just want to get promoted,” he admitted. “It’s been hard because I have missed a lot of games, and I just want to play.

“I think I can bring something different (to the team), different to the other defenders we have got, and I want to be a big part of it.

“I don’t really look at the table, if you get enough points over the season you will be promoted.”