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Copps on Coming Together

27 October 2016

Midfield maestro James on uniting the squad to continue excellent home form.

James Coppinger was in the formative years of his Rovers career when he last encountered Wycombe Wanderers.

A replacement for Jonathan Forte in extra time of a League Cup tie back in 2006 at Adams Park, Coppinger couldn’t affect the end result of a penalty shootout defeat in a competition that Rovers had reached the quarter finals of the previous season.

This Saturday, the two clubs do battle in the League in what is just their fourth ever meeting with the hosts on a terrific run of form on their own turf.

“Last week was definitely just a little bump,” said Coppinger of a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Blackpool.

“I think we’ve responded really well from when we’ve got beat from the start of the season so every time we’ve had a defeat we’ve had a response. 

“We’ve got a young team, a lot of players that are playing their first full season and not everything is going to be plain sailing and it’s about how you respond. 

“I think looking to Saturday’s game it’s the perfect opportunity (to hit back).”

Coppinger’s relaxed approach was indicative of a squad who’ve been given greater responsibility and accountability by the manager Darren Ferguson.

“I’ve played under managers before where you’re dreading coming in on a Monday and you think it’s not really about making mistakes,” Coppinger said of the Scot. 

“You get singled out and it becomes more of a personal thing whereas now it’s more of a collective thing, if you make a mistake it’s learn from it and we’re in it together; we’re conceding goals and scoring goals together.

“When you do work on things in training it’s important to listen and actually put it in practice on a Saturday and we didn’t do that. The goals we conceded weren’t down to that, I think they were down to maybe being a bit naïve and the younger lads can learn from how we conceded those goals.”

Rovers will take on a Wycombe side without a win on the road this term and the evergreen thirty-five-year-old Coppinger is looking to head in to a mini-break with the wind of a victory firmly in the Yorkshireman’s sails.

He said: “You want to get that performance and win. If you can put the two together then you enjoy the couple of weeks break that the Cups provide and enjoy the two games.

“Although Wycombe are in the position they are, they’ll be coming here with no pressure on them whatsoever so as a player playing at home unbeaten in 10, we’ve got to maintain our standards.

“Over the past few years the standards at home have been very poor but we’ve put that right and we want to continue that.

“We worked hard over the summer putting everything that went wrong right and it’s about maintaining this position and building on what we’ve already done. The lads are definitely confident for Saturday.”

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