ANDY BUTLER admits he is preparing for tomorrow’s visit to Peterborough United uncertain of whether he’ll be in the team – but that’s the way he likes it!
Town’s 24-year-old central defender believes competition for places is central to a successful football club, and despite Tuesday’s 5-3 League I setback at Hartlepool, he’s confident that’s what Town will become under Stan Ternent.
Signed on a three-year deal from Scunthorpe in the close-season, the Doncaster based player has been operating alongside Nathan Clarke in recent games, with the pair keeping experienced club captain Chris Lucketti on the bench.
Ternent has yet to reveal whether he will make changes in the wake of the topsy-turvy game at Victoria Park, when Town three times took the lead in the first half before conceding three times in the final seven minutes of the second.
And Butler, who had to be patient in regaining his place after suffering a back injury when MK Dons visited the Galpharm back in August, reckons that’s fair enough.
“It’s crucial to be on your toes all the time, and no player at this club can be complacent about keeping their place,” he said.
“I ended up missing four matches earlier in the season, even though I got over the injury fairly quickly, and the manager has shown he will stick with players who are in form no matter who is waiting in the wings.
“We all accept that if we miss a match for whatever reason, we will have to fight to regain a place, and that’s the way it should be.”
Having performed so well to win 3-1 at Swindon a fortnight ago, Town have taken only one point from the six available since and have fallen to 16th in the table, but Butler insists it’s not all doom and gloom.
“We need to sort out the consistency issue, but we’ve shown what we’re capable of, and the morale in the camp has never been a problem,” he added. “We’re scoring goals – now we have to stop conceding them.”
Peterborough, promoted last season, go into the game aiming to make it nine unbeaten in League I after Tuesday’s goalless home draw with Brighton.
That left them eighth, six points above Town, and manager Darren Ferguson is happy with Posh’s progress.
“A club like Brighton who have aspirations of their own looked more than happy to take a point off us,” he said.
“It shows how far we’ve come that teams are not looking forward to playing us at home.”