‘I felt we let Copps down for the final day of his career’ – Andy Butler reflects on Doncaster Rovers’ defeat to Peterborough United

Doncaster Rovers let James Coppinger down in the final game of his career according to boss Andy Butler.

Sunday, 9th May 2021, 9:49 pm
Updated Monday, 10th May 2021, 8:27 am

Prior to the game Butler had urged his players to send Coppinger out on the right note as he heads into retirement.

But a hapless first half performance saw Rovers 4-0 down to promoted Peterborough United with Tyreece John-Jules’ injury time strike making the result marginally less poor.

“It’s obviously a massive day for Copps and we can’t take away from that,” Butler said.

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James Coppinger. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

“But I felt we let him down for the final day of his career.

“Again, there’s nothing we can do about that now and we focus on Copps and the magnificent career he’s had.

“I thought he was going to get on the scoresheet with a trademark free kick that hit the bar.

“You have to see the love that he has for football and the respect he gets from people.

Andy Butler with James Coppinger

“You see Peterborough, our staff, the crowd out there cheering now. It just shows what a person he is and the influence he has had on this club.”

Hundreds of supporters waited outside the Keepmoat to give Coppinger a send off of their own.

The 40-year-old gave a final address to his now former teammates and urged them to give their all during their time in the game.

And Butler feels Rovers have been guilty of not doing that enough during the second half of the season.

“We let Copps have a little speech about not letting games pass you by because careers end in an instant,” he said. “You think it’s a long career but football soon passes you be.

“Don’t turn up and be average in training. Lead by example, which is what he’s done throughout his career.

“I think it goes for whatever job you do. Don’t be mediocre in your profession, every day that you approach it.

“Don’t let days pass you by because you’ve seen football is a cruel world and a harsh reality that if you’re not playing or not performing well, someone will take your place and you’ll be on the wayside and no one will remember who you are.

“I think players have to look at themselves individually.

“I’m not going to pick out individuals but if the players look back at the game and the roles and responsibilities they were given, can they look themselves in the mirror and say they did everything they could to get the result?

“They might be kidding themselves.

“There was a few good performances out there today but overall the second half of the season, we can’t say we’ve given everything

“If we look back there will be frustrations.

“I can look in the mirror and say that I’ve given everything to Doncaster Rovers

“I know people will doubt that and say my managerial career has been terrible.

“But I can honestly say I’ve given everything and so have my staff.

“It’s up to the players whether they can say that but I think we left a bit if I’m being totally honest.”

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