Positive talks leave Andy Butler optimistic over Doncaster Rovers future

IN charge of Doncaster Rovers for the rest of the season at least, Andy Butler’s involvement in discussions with the club’s hierarchy over player contracts indicates his desire to stick around in the long term and plan ahead.

It is a sincere hope that his recommendations will play their part in helping to forge a Rovers side firmly in his own image next season and, hopefully, beyond.

The number of players whose deals expire in June is into double figures. Ironically, they include himself – he put his playing commitments on hold to concentrate on management after stepping into the breach to replace Sheffield Wednesday-bound Darren Moore recently.

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Others out of contract include Reece James, Joe Wright, Brad Halliday and Jason Lokilo, while James Coppinger is expected to retire and a host of loanees will return to their parent clubs.

POSITIVE TALKS: Doncaster Rovers interim manager Andy Butler. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

Interim-manager Butler said: “The talks have been really positive. I have had a good chat with David (Blunt – chairman) and Gavin (Baldwin – chief executive).

“Obviously, it is an eye-opener for myself. Three or four weeks into the job, I am in charge of players’ futures.

“But for me, it is not a personal thing. It is who I want at the club to represent Doncaster Rovers whether I am a player or manager.

“I could be playing alongside these players next year, but hopefully I am a manager. But at the same time I could be playing.

ROAD TO RECOVERY: Doncaster Rovers' John Bostock could return to the line-up this weekend. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

“There are a group of players that we will speak to earlier in planning the strategy of how we go. We will speak to the players who we feel we want to extend now and then other players who are in that bracket who have still got to improve.

“But I am not going to close the door on anyone.”

Meanwhile, influential loan winger Josh Sims has returned to parent club Southampton for assessment on his problematic muscle injury.

Better news could see midfielder John Bostock return from injury for the weekend trip to MK Dons.

Bostock has missed the club’s last three matches with a groin problem.

Meanwhile, Rovers have confirmed that head of talent identification Adam Henshall is to leave later this Spring to join an unnamed top-flight club with his exit being an ‘amicable’ one.

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