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It's Competitive

15 August 2016

Captain James Coppinger reminds everyone that League Two is tough.

Goalscorer James Coppinger alluded to the fact that reality may have bitten some of his teammates as Rovers continue their search for a win.

The 35 year old captain equalised James Collins’ opener against Crawley Town at the weekend, with a well worked set piece routine devised on the training ground, to earn a point.

“Obviously it was a corner that we’d worked on, I’d scored two in training so there was a bit of pressure so I was delighted that it worked and it got us back in the game,” he said.

“I thought we warranted three points for our second half performance, the tempo in the second half was a lot better and we passed the ball a lot better.

“Everything was lacking first half and we couldn’t put our finger on it, he (manager Darren Ferguson) demanded that we came out second half and put on a performance for the fans, for him and for ourselves. 

“This season it’s all about us and the expectation levels are going to be a lot different to last season. We’re expected to win games – especially at home – and the players that are playing are expected to deal with that.”

Coppinger has now scored for Rovers in 12 consecutive seasons and has made 495 appearances since signing for the club in the summer of 2004.

“I’m aware of the 500 and it’s a big milestone, something I’m really proud of and - touch wood - I’ll get there with no problems,” he said. 

“It’s an honour for me to play for this football club and to be the longest serving player and to reach 500 games at any club is a mean feat.

“The expectation of the fans is that we’re a League 1 / Championship club and not a League 2 club and it’s going to be difficult for players who think otherwise. 

“Players can’t step on to the pitch and expect it to happen, this division isn’t like this and the manager and fans won’t accept it and neither will the players. We need to demand more from each other and get better performances.”

Every team in League Two has dropped points already after two games, therefore showing just how competitive the division is, in the eyes of Coppinger.

“I think this division is competitive and any team can beat any team on any given day,” he said. 

“We’re starting to realise that, you understand that it’s not going to be a walk in the park, you can’t just turn up and think you’re going to win games. 

“The lads are really good lads, they want to learn, they want to listen. Although you do that Monday-Friday, Saturday is when it counts and it’s a steep learning curve. As long as they keep doing things consistently then I think they’ll be fine.”

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