Forward thinking needed as Doncaster Rovers have striker problems

Doncaster Rovers manager Andy Butler.Doncaster Rovers manager Andy Butler.
Doncaster Rovers manager Andy Butler.
DONCASTER ROVERS manager Andy Butler is not the sort of individual who tolerates an excuse culture.

The League One promotion-chasers may have been down on attacking options in Tuesday’s 1-0 reverse at Crewe Alexandra – and with selection issues heading into this weekend’s home game with Northampton Town – but Butler is in the business of finding solutions and not lamenting his lot.

In his own words, Rovers had to ‘fill square pegs with round holes’ in midweek when they had no recognised striker in the League One loss at Gresty Road.

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Experienced forward Omar Bogle (hamstring) again will not feature on Saturday, with Butler conscious that bringing him back too early could run the risk of aggravating the problem and potentially ruling him out for the rest of the season.

Better news could see top-scorer Fejiri Okenabirhie return from injury for the Cobblers’ visit.

But if he does not, Butler insists it is about producing contingency plans in the final third and adopting a ‘make do and mend’ mindset and trying to deliver answers.

It is a message he delivered to his players in a meeting on Thursday morning.

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Butler, who must also plan without winger Jon Taylor for the rest of the season due to an ankle ligament injury, said: “I believe as a staff that we have addressed these issues. If something goes wrong, it is not always going to be plain sailing and you must have the (alternative) option.

“Obviously, it is not ideal being without both strikers, but at the same time, players know their roles and responsibilities of each position and understand that places have to be filled.

“It is not ideal playing out of position, but in a situation where needs must, you have got the right set of characters in this group to do that job with no questions asked.”

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