Doncaster Rovers: Andy Williams refusing to get carried away by form

Andy Williams
Andy Williams

Level-headed - that is the way Andy Williams describes himself.

And, given his difficult start to life with Doncaster Rovers, it is probably a good thing he is.

Right now, Williams’ stock is at the highest it has been since his summer switch from Swindon Town.

A run of four goals in three matches sees him looking like the lethal front man who netted 22 goals for promotion-chasing Town last season.

The 29-year-old looks confident - something evident through the manner of his superb early goal at Blackpool last weekend.

A little more than a month ago, that was not the case. Frustrated was probably the most apt description.

Williams was the victim of pressure brought on by his superb record. He also looked like a fish out of water in a new team who did not seem capable of providing the specific type of service he needed to thrive. And it took its toll.

One of Darren Ferguson’s first acts after taking over was to take Williams out of the starting line-up, handing him a ‘mental break’ he had quickly seen the striker was desperately in need of.

And Williams was in full agreement.

“I think it was good for me to have that little bit of time out of the team,” he said.

“Since I came here, I’ve barely missed a minute of football. And last season I didn’t miss a game.

“I think that freshened me up and gave me a bit of a kick I needed and I think it’s driven me on.”

Frank in conversation, while he admits the break was useful, Williams overall believes too much has been made of the difficulty of his early months with Rovers.

“You guys are a lot more positive now than you were a few months ago,” he told one journalist after the win at Blackpool. “I’m not going to get too carried away by it and just make sure I keep working hard and I’m sure the goals will keep coming.”

Conversation on his form consistently returns to him remaining level-headed. He prefers to leave discussion about his form to other people.

Williams said: “I think people can make too much of your runs when they’re good or bad. I keep myself level headed at the same time.

“When I wasn’t scoring I wasn’t missing too many chances and it’s the same now.

“I missed a couple at Blackpool but I scored one and it’s nice to keep the run going.

“I think the key to scoring goals is to not get too carried away with the lows and the highs. I think I only went a month without scoring a goal and I’ve had longer droughts than that in my career and still come back to score plenty of goals through the season.

“I’m positive I’ll continue to do that and carry the form through the rest of the season.”

Ferguson’s switch to a 3-5-2 formation has placed Williams in a system with which he is very familiar.

Swindon consistently deployed the formation during their successful run last season and Williams feels right at home.

He said: “I know it well and I do like it.

“At the end of the day we’re still playing two up front so my role doesn’t change massively. It just means we’re creating space around the pitch.

“It’s good at the moment, the chances are coming and thanfully so are the goals.”

It seems that there is no coincidence that Williams looks settled on the pitch when he has finally settled off it.

During the first few months with Rovers, the Hereford-born forward was away from his wife and child for much of the time.

Now, the Williams family is settled in the area.

He said: “I wouldn’t like to make too much of that. There’s a lot worse going on in the world and a lot more people suffering worse than what I did.

“But I’m a family man and used to being around my wife and my little baby.

“It was hard being away from them for a few months, living out of a hotel and a suitcase.

“Finally we’ve got a house sorted up here and we’re moved in.

“It’s all good. It’s added a positive impact on me. And it’s good at the moment.”