‘Fitter’ Doncaster Rovers can hit teams late - James Coppinger

James Coppinger gives the thumbs up to supporters following the win over Newport County.

James Coppinger gives the thumbs up to supporters following the win over Newport County.

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James Coppinger thinks several League Two teams will struggle to last the pace with Doncaster Rovers this season.

And he reckons Rovers can score plenty of late goals as a consequence.

The stats already mark out Doncaster as one of the leading sides in the division when it comes to second half performance.

Out of eight league games, Rovers have won the second half in six of those.

Seven of their 17 goals have been scored after the 70-minute mark.

And Coppinger thinks fitness levels are already proving to be key.

“I think we’re as fit, if not fitter, than any team in this division,” said Coppinger.

“I think that will stand us in good stead as the season progresses because if we maintain our intensity teams seem to get tired around 60, 70 minutes.

“That’s when we get stronger and could score lots of goals this season.”

Coppinger became the first inductee into Rovers’ ‘Hall of Fame’ at the weekend on the back of becoming the first player in the club’s history to break the 500-appearance barrier.

But the 35-year-old is not about to rest on his laurels.

“I had a great day at Morecambe and it was a great week to get the player of the month award,” said Coppinger.

“I reflected a little bit on it, and becoming the first person to reach 500 appearances for Doncaster is a massive achievement for me.

“It’s something that I’ll definitely look back on and probably appreciate more when I come to retire.

“But I’m so focused on playing for longer and seasons to come that I can’t even reflect on it because if I do I tend to think I’ll lose a bit of that desire to keep on going.”