Doncaster Rovers: From naughty boy to goal hero for James Coppinger

James Coppinger

James Coppinger

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James Coppinger admits he was close to being put on the naughty step for practicing the type of strike which led to his second goal at Barnet.

Coppinger scored twice in Rovers’ 3-1 win at The Hive on Saturday with the second of his brace a fine curling first time effort from the edge of the box.

The 36-year-old revealed he and several team mates had been practicing similar efforts after-hours on the training ground on the day before the game.

But the over-eagerness led to a telling off from boss Darren Ferguson.

“We’d been working on that sort of thing on the Friday,” Coppinger said. “The gaffer was telling us to get off the pitch and save our legs.

“But we’d been working on that sort of finishing.

“It helped obviously, just side-footing it into the bottom corner and it put us in a great position in the game.”

Coppinger’s double moved him on to eight goals for the season, a career high.

They were also his first goals since his three match suspension following a red card against Plymouth Argyle for a clash with goalkeeper Luke McCormick.

“It was disappointing to miss three games after being sent off,” he said. “I’ve been contributing more assists since my last goal.

“It’s important though to chip in when you can.

“They were two important goals which is a big thing.

“Those three weeks were the hardest I’ve had for a while. I’ve been sent off before in my career but not in those circumstances.

“I was disappointed with the way it happened and it was frustrating. But the lads did really well.

“It’s so pleasing to come back into a team that’s doing really well.

“There’s no guarantee you’re ever going to get back in the team when something like that happens, you miss three games and the team does well.

“I was delighted to come back in and win that game against Stevenage and then the two after. It’s three on the bounce since I came back in and you can’t ask for more than that.”