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DF pre Morecambe

8 September 2016

Rovers boss Darren Ferguson says James Coppinger can play for another three or four years.

Coppinger looks on course to make his 500th senior appearance for Doncaster on Saturday in the Sky Bet League Two game at Morecambe.

Ferguson said: “To make 500 appearances at one club in this day and age is incredible.

“It says a lot about how he feels about the club, because I’m sure he has had opportunities to leave.

“I have only had him a short period as a manager, and hope to manage him for a number of more years.

“I have been fortunate as a manager to have some really great players, and he is right up there with them. He is a top professional.”

Coppinger, 35, has spent 13 years at Rovers – the only member of the playing squad to have represented Rovers at senior level at Belle Vue and the Keepmoat Stadium.

And Ferguson reckons there is still plenty to come from his captain – so long as he is managed correctly.

He said: “When he trains every day you can see how much it means to him, which is a great example to set to the younger lads.

“He still wants to learn. He still wants to win. He was devastated when we went down, but he can see what we are trying to do this season and wants to be a part of that.

“I need to find a way of managing him throughout the season, and he needs to find a way of managing himself. We have spoken about managing his week so he is ready and fresh for a game. But fitness-wise, he is right up there.

“We have slightly changed his role, we try to keep him a bit more central so he doesn’t need to do quite so much running off the ball. I’ve got to get him in positions where he is most effective at hurting teams.

“I think he has got three or four years left, if he is managed the correct way. He may not play 46 games a season, but so long as he learns to manage himself as nature takes over.”

Rovers are looking to bounce back from last weekend’s loss at Crewe, but the strength of performance at the Alexandra Stadium.

Ferguson added: “The players have reacted excellently, it has been a good week in training. We have dealt with it, spoke about where we have to improve, it’s the obvious things really.

“We are not getting counter-attacked on, it is not as if we are going mad and desperate for the winner. It has just been a case of lapses of concentration and the players are aware of that. We want to win every game, but I don’t feel it was tactical mistakes why we lost at Crewe.”

Rovers’ luck with injuries has not improved, though, with Frazer Richardson a doubt for Saturday after suffering a knock during his debut last weekend.

But there is some better news, with Tyler Garratt set to return to the squad after his ankle problem.



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