‘Copps’ backs club policy

Confident: Hopefully we'll be out of this in a few weeks, says James Coppinger.                    Picture: STEVE UTTLEY
Confident: Hopefully we'll be out of this in a few weeks, says James Coppinger. Picture: STEVE UTTLEY

IT is fair to say that not everyone connected with Doncaster Rovers has been in total agreement with the number of players coming in on short-term contracts in recent months.

But long-serving Rovers star James Coppinger, for one, claims he doesn’t have a problem with the policy if it helps to secure the club’s Championship status.

“I think in any walk of life, be it a football club or an office or whatever, when you get new people in you are always a bit wary,” he told The Star.

“You wonder who they are and what they are doing here; what their strengths are; what their weaknesses are. A guard comes up and you want to protect yourself.

“But if the lads who come in show the same application, and the same attitude as the lads who are already here, then nobody has a problem.

“Everyone is aware of where we are in the league and we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.

“Hopefully we can continue to do that and in five or ten games’ time we are still doing the same things because consistency is probably the key in any division, but especially so in the Championship.

“We’ve strung some good results together, especially at home, in recent weeks and I’d say that the confidence in the camp prior to the Bristol City game was the highest it’s been all season and hopefully in a few weeks’ time we’ll be out of the situation we are in.

“The manager talks a lot about the mental side of the game and at any level you play at the mental side has got to play a big part.

“It has been difficult for the lads who have been here a while because for those who were here all that time we had got used to playing a certain way under Sean O’Driscoll and then the new manager has come in and changed all that.

“There was always going to be a transitional period, and it was never going to happen overnight. The last few weeks is probably the closest it’s been to being right and it feels right within the squad. We are doing the basics right and sticking together.

“We don’t pass it as much as we used to but it can be just as effective playing a bit more direct. Once you’ve created a space you can start playing a bit more.

“I think sometimes the lads took the gaffer a bit too literally, as regards getting the ball forward quicker, when he first came in. But I think we’ve settled down better and we now know what he wants.

“Prior to the cheekbone injury I picked up at Bristol, I’d say that I’ve never felt as fit for a long time.

“There is a different intensity to the way we play and we know what we’ve got to do for the 90 minutes and I think we’ve surprised teams, especially those who come to the Keepmoat, because we put them on the back foot and we’ve attacked them early doors and it works. Long may it continue.”