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Coppinger: Still Hungry

18 March 2016

Desire to do well for Doncaster burns bright for long serving midfielder.

James Coppinger is hoping to spark Rovers back in to life upon his eagerly anticipated return to full fitness.

The 35 year old midfielder has been out of action for a month with a persistent ankle injury but is hoping his comeback can breathe life in to Rovers’ faltering campaign.

“It’s very frustrating but luckily its not long term and I can get back and help the lads,” said Coppinger.

“With ten games to go we’ve got a lot of games to play and points to play for, a lot to focus on and take each games as it comes.

“Belief is a massive thing and the longer you go on a winning run, momentum and confidence etc. come and it can be the same if it’s the other way round. We want a win to kick ourselves on.”

It is more than six weeks since Coppinger, who has made 484 appearances for Doncaster, started a game for Rovers and they have not won in that period.

“It’s always frustrating when you’re not playing, you’re injured, and luckily for me at 35 I’ve not had that many spells out,” he said.

“We’ve obviously got a lot of lads that have been in this situation before – older pros who can pass on experience – so the likes of me coming back in will help as I’ve got a lot to offer in that respect.

“I can’t wait for Saturday and can’t wait for all of the games to come because I’m a positive person and a big believer in trying to help other people in any way I can.

“By coming in and training and setting high standards, hopefully that’s what I can do.”

Coppinger spoke at length about penning his new one year contract before attentions turned to the threat posed by Saturday’s opposition Peterborough United, who defeated Rovers 4-0 in late October.

“The contract is massive but it’s not about me. At 35, you’re looking at other people, the club and people you can influence and help,” he said.

“The manager has been massive for me and given me a new lease of life. He comes in and tries to improve and better people which is what I want to see and what I want to be part of.

“Signing a contract is a big relief for me in terms of going forward because I want to be part of something special at Doncaster, still. I still have that desire and motivation when I come in and train and play games.

“The manager is the same and wants everyone to buy in to that – players, fans etc. – and at the minute we’re going through a rough patch but when you get through things like this it makes you stronger and a tighter group and that’s what we want to create.

“I wouldn’t have signed my contract if I didn’t think I’d be interested or involved in something that potentially could be special.

“For me, my motivation is to do well for Doncaster and for the players – if I’m captain – then they're my responsibility and not just myself, the whole dressing room – young and old.”

 “They’re a great side; it can turn at any point for them. We played them at their place and they did really well.

“We’ve looked at them this week and they're a fragile team at the moment – like we are – but if they get it right, then they get it right and that’s the same for us.”

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