A jovial Richie Wellens addressed the media prior to Saturday’s crucial play-off game against Peterborough United at Keepmoat Stadium.Wellens was speaking firmly ‘tongue-in-cheek’ regarding the club’s celebration of club legend James Coppinger, someone he knows very well.
“I’m 34 and want to come in and chill out in training where he wants to do everything properly and I feel I have to follow him and it can be a nightmare but professionally and personally he’s a great lad and a proper player,” he said.
“It’s great that we organise a 450th game for Copps and he’s not going to make it. Hopefully we’ll reorganise it for in a few weeks time when it actually is his 450th!
“He’s got skill, he’s got a work ethic, can cross a ball, tactically he’s very good and professionally he’s a great role model – totally the opposite to me!”
The laughter will stop at 3pm on Saturday however when Posh roll in to town looking to leapfrog sixth placed Doncaster.
“You’ve seen a few teams blow up a little bit. We’ve been in sixth for a couple of weeks and only drawn and no one wants to overtake us,” said Wellens.
“With two home games coming up, we need to stabilise our position but it’s so tight. If we can break away from a few teams then it narrows the amount of teams in there.
“You don’t want teams having automatic and play offs sewn up, it’s great that teams in 15th still have a chance but it shows a lack of quality – apart from Bristol City and Preston – that no team has done it.”
Wellens said that the play-offs were a realistic ambition for Doncaster and would represent an achievement of sorts following an auspicious start to the campaign.
“After the start we had we’ve got to be happy that we’re in with a chance of making the top six. After six or seven games, we were really struggling,” he admitted.
“The effects of the summer were taking its toll and we didn’t know where we were going to be but the last two months have been really good. We’ve been difficult to beat and we’re slowly climbing the table leaving us – with eleven games left – where we want to be.
“It helps when you can pick a settled team every week. Earlier in the season, even if we won, we had such a thin squad and now that’s changed.”
Tickets for Saturday are still available for just £5 as the club celebrate James Coppinger’s eleven years at Doncaster Rovers.