James Coppinger backs Andy Butler to secure Doncaster Rovers job long term

James Coppinger believes there will be plenty of people queuing up to take charge of Doncaster Rovers in the summer.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 6:00 am

But the veteran has backed Andy Butler to secure the reins beyond the end of the current campaign.

Butler took charge until the end of the season following the departure of Darren Moore to Sheffield Wednesday at the start of the month.

His position will be reviewed in the summer but he is known to be very highly regarded by the Rovers hierarchy and there is a strong feeling that it is his job to lose over the final few weeks of the campaign.

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James Coppinger in action against Gillingham at the weekend when he scored one and assisted another goal in the 2-2 draw. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX

Having been teammates and friends since 2014, Coppinger knows what the opportunity means to the 37-year-old and admits he has been impressed with Butler as boss so far.

“It means everything to him,” he told the Free Press. “And you see that every day.

“He’s organised and thorough and he’s got to try to make the best of the games that are left because it’s a huge opportunity.

“I think he deserves it, based on what he’s done with the Belles.

“It’s what he wants to do and he’s got an opportunity between now and the end of the season to show the club and everyone what he’s about.

“For him it’s about not thinking he knows everything because he doesn’t profess to know everything.

“It’s about leaning on other people, trying to seek advice.

“I know he’s spoken to other managers that he’s worked with.

“It’s about trying to take the opportunity because they don’t come along that often.

“I think there will be people queuing up to take this job. Hopefully he’ll be one of them.”

Coppinger says he has been one of those individuals Butler has used as a sounding board since taking charge.

“I think he always leans on me because we’ve been friends for a long time now,” he said.

“We’ve worked together, we’ve roomed together, we've been successful in winning promotion, we missed out on the play-offs - we’ve experienced more or less everything so I’d like to think we can trust each other.

“I’m not always right and neither is he, but if I can help this club be successful, that’s what it’s all about for me.”

The 40-year-old has also been impressed by the manner in which the squad has been largely unaffected by the shock departure of Moore.

And he is confident they can put together a run of results that will secure a top six finish - starting at MK Dons on Saturday.

He said: “I genuinely think regardless of who is the manager, we’ve got a great group of players , a great working environment.

“It’s just about trying to keep the younger players focused on what we’ve got to do on the pitch.

“I’ve been really impressed with a lot of the players that have come in.

“It hasn’t seemed to have affected them.”

Rovers expect to have midfielder John Bostock available for selection for Saturday’s trip to Stadium:mk.


In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.