Experienced midfielder hopes Rovers can use this season as a catalyst for future success.James Coppinger has said that the missed opportunities of this season can drive the club forward to success next term.
The club captain was speaking to the media prior to Saturday’s home game against Rochdale, who still have plenty to play for this season though Doncaster still have a mathematical chance of the play-offs.
“After Christmas we put a great run together and were in with a chance of the play offs but we’ve dropped off and that’s frustrating because we feel that on our day we are as good as the teams in and around the play-offs at the moment pushing for promotion,” said the 34 year old.
“The lads who’ve been there and done it know what it takes and we want to implement something here for next season to drive us forward.
“I spoke to the gaffer and if we all know the squad and what we’re going with, where we’re going on our pre-season camp etc. then we’ll be good. We had a really good pre-season and it all unravelled unfortunately.”
Coppinger returned to the fold last week against Bradford City after a lengthy lay off and saw a marked difference between the defeats against the Bantams (3-0) and then Sheffield United (3-2) on Tuesday.
“To play so well and score two goals away from home and create so many chances, it was a great response from the lads after the Bradford defeat, but we didn’t get anything for it,” he rued.
“I was speaking to some Sheffield United fans who thought we were good going forward. Then we conceded three sloppy goals and weren’t great defensively which has been the way of the season; there’s been some silly mistakes which have held us back.
“I think it was my first real test for nine weeks and at 34 I wonder whether I can keep going but I felt as good as I’ve ever felt.
“It’s always nice to play in places like Sheffield because you don’t have to get motivated for the game. You can express yourself and everything went to plan apart from the result.”
Coppinger’s longevity shows no sign of abating and with 444 Rovers appearances to his name, neither does his hunger.
“I love every day coming in to training and playing in games and will do that for as long as I can while I’m offering something to the team and the manager picks me,” he said.
“90% of the games we’ve played, we could have won.
“Some seasons I’ve been here and wondered how we’ve not lost or managed to scrape a win but this season we just haven’t been consistent enough.”