FERGIE MAKES IT EASY FOR US

Baudry feel­ing like a na­tive in Donny

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By John Lyons

DON­CASTER Rovers are storm­ing ahead at the top of League Two – and de­fender Mathieu Baudry is not sur­prised.

That’s not the French­man be­ing cocky or ar­ro­gant. It’s a clin­i­cal as­sess­ment of the club he moved to last sum­mer and, in par­tic­u­lar, the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of man­ager Dar­ren Fer­gu­son.

When the 28-year-old turned down a new con­tract with Ley­ton Ori­ent at the end of last sea­son af­ter four years with the O’s, he wanted a fresh chal­lenge. A two-year deal with Donny was forth­com­ing and Baudry headed north.

How­ever, it wasn’t an easy start for the cen­tre-back as Achilles surgery ruled him out of pre-sea­son and the first two months of the cam­paign.

To­gether

Iron­i­cally, it also proved to the Le Havre-born de­fender that he had made the right de­ci­sion in join­ing Rovers, who had just been rel­e­gated from League One.

“When I was in­jured, I was look­ing closely at what the staff and play­ers were do­ing in train­ing and I could see that ev­ery­one knew their jobs,” he said. “The man­ager got a great squad to­gether.

“The team were do­ing well and I had to work hard to get into the team. We’re play­ing at­trac­tive foot­ball and I’m re­ally en­joy­ing it.”

Baudry could not be more ful­some in his praise of for­mer Peter­bor­ough boss Fer­gu­son.

“The gaffer sold me the club last sum­mer and it was what I found here,” he said. “I have never had a man­ager with this amount of knowl­edge – he’s al­most too good for this level. He gives you the tools to solve any prob­lem you will face on the pitch.

“Ev­ery­one knows what they have to do in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions and it’s easy for the play­ers to ex­press them­selves.”

Head­ing into the week­end pro­gramme, Don­caster were four points clear of sec­ond­placed Ply­mouth, but, more im­por­tantly, a whop­ping 13 points ahead of fourth-place Portsmouth, the team di­rectly out­side the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion slots.

It means Donny look certs for an im­me­di­ate re­turn to the third tier, though Baudry, wisely, doesn’t ad­mit that.

“We have a job to do,” he

It’s a far cry from just a few years ago when Ori­ent came within a whisker of earn­ing pro­mo­tion to the Cham­pi­onship, los­ing on penal­ties to Rother­ham in the play-off fi­nal at Wem­b­ley.

Regime

Baudry can’t hide his dis­ap­point­ment at the club’s dra­matic fall from grace.

“My first two sea­sons there were great and we were so close to get­ting to the Cham­pi­onship,” he said. “Since the new chair­man and regime have come in, it’s been a hard two sea­sons.

“I made some great friends there and I met some great peo­ple, so it’s hard to see the sit­u­a­tion now. I feel for them.

“I needed to move on. I didn’t see a fu­ture there. It’s sad and I hope things will change in the fu­ture.”

For his part, Baudry is happy in Eng­land af­ter six years here and al­most feels like a na­tive.

“I en­joyed it from the start, the men­tal­ity of the English,” he said. “My wife, Jessica, is English and I think we’ll stay here. It feels like peo­ple are more ap­proach­able.

“I’m happy and my fam­ily is happy. When you are en­joy­ing your foot­ball, life is eas­ier, too.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

GOOD MOVE: Mathieu Baudry, right, is de­lighted with his de­ci­sion to up­root to Don­caster

OR­GAN­ISER: Rovers boss Dar­ren Fer­gu­son

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