Doncaster Rovers will look to return to form and reignite their League One play-off push on Good Friday when they welcome Charlton Athletic to the Keepmoat Stadium.
They have taken only two points from their past five games, failing to score in four of those contests, and have dropped out of the top six as a result.
Turning that form around will be a challenge for Andy Butler, still only a month into the role of interim manager, but he was in a positive mood ahead of the visit of potential play-off rivals Charlton.
On team news
Doncaster will have midfielder Matt Smith back from international duty with Wales, but otherwise it is the same set of players available for the match with no fresh concerns.
The attacking trio of Josh Sims, Jon Taylor and Tyreece John-Jules continue to miss out though, with Taylor ruled out for the season with an ankle injury and John-Jules set to return from parent club Arsenal later this month following treatment on his hamstring problem.
There was good news on Sims, with the Southampton loanee expected to be back in South Yorkshire next week.
“Having spoke to Southampton this morning, they believe Josh will be back probably Wednesday next week,” said Butler. “He’s got some feeling back in his left foot but he still feels like he’s lacking power in his left leg. But he seems to be in a positive way rather than taking a step backwards.”
On turning around form
Butler won his first two matches in charge but the results have been less impressive since, with two points taken from five ahead of the Easter weekend following last week’s defeat at Milton Keynes Dons.
The Doncaster boss sees attack as the area that needs to improve, and says he has worked with the squad on becoming more productive in the final third.
“It’s been approached positively,” he said of turning around their current form. “I spoke about things we want to happen in the final third.
“Creating and building attacks has been good, just finishing attacks is something we’ve been struggling on so it’s something we’ve worked on this week. Hopefully we can get in good positions and really show what the players can do.
“They’re not robots but we’ve given them the information of what we want from them in the final third. They can play off the cuff but at the same time we want them to play in a certain manner and certain direction.
“We don’t become a bad team overnight. We’re not a bad team. I keep saying it’s a game of fine lines and the chances we had against MK Dons, we didn’t test the keeper but we had chances to put balls in good areas.”
Charlton provide the opposition in an early kick-off which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, and Butler admits it is tough to know what to expect from them having played only once so far under new boss Nigel Adkins.
“It’ll be a difficult, tough game,” he said. “I’m not sure what Charlton will bring to be honest because Nigel has come in.
“He’s had a good two weeks to prepare for this game having not had a game due to internationals, so he’ll want to stamp his own authority and philosophy on the team.”
On Nigel Adkins
Adkins is, however, a very familiar face to Butler, who was managed by the current Charlton boss early in his career at Scunthorpe United.
“Nigel was my physio when I first started as a young kid all those years ago so I’ve known Nigel quite a long time,” said Butler. “He’s had a fantastic career starting at Scunthorpe, then he went to Southampton and had a fantastic run.
“I spoke to Nigel before he got the Charlton job, had a quick chat about stepping into management and he helped me through that. Then all of a sudden, he becomes manager of Charlton!
“We haven’t spoken since, I’m sure we’ll have a chat after or before. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a bit surreal managing a team against one of your former managers so it’s another experience for me to tick off.”