'Don’t get carried away, don’t get frustrated and don’t get disappointed' - James Coppinger on tempering expectation levels at Doncaster Rovers
James Coppinger feels there are major parallels between this season for Doncaster Rovers and their first campaign back in League One two years ago.
Rovers were a work in progress following promotion from League Two under Darren Ferguson with many players picking up their first real experience in the third tier.
With the youthful nature of the current squad, Coppinger sees plenty of similarities between the two seasons.
And for that reason he feels expectations should be tempered of what Rovers should be achieving this term.
“It is where we’re at - there’s no getting away from that if you look at the team, the squad, the bench, it’s where we are as a club,” the veteran said.
“It’s almost like you need to set the expectation levels, not a bit lower, but being more realistic with what we’ve got and what we’re capable of.
“I think we were exceeding expectations at the beginning of the season with the way that we were playing and the way things were going.
“It started to plateau out a bit and then it became about not getting carried away, keeping confidence high and keeping people believing in what we’re doing and things would come.
“Don’t get carried away, don’t get frustrated and don’t get disappointed.
“We have been playing one some really good football and we’ve got some really good players so focus on that sort of stuff.”
Coppinger – who turns 39 on Saturday – says it is important that younger players are encouraged through their learning and that is where there is the necessity for realistic expectations.
“There are things as a senior professional that you’re taught or learn as you progress through your career,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of lads there who are learning.
“It’s important not to get carried away or frustrated and help them out.
“It’s ruthless. It’s a different pressure to academy football because it means so much more.
“You have to learn and not get spooked by things that are going on.
“But at the same time as a club we don’t want to get carried away about doing this or not doing that.
“It’s about working together for the bigger picture.”