Doncaster Rovers: Just deal with it! Captain James Coppinger’s forthright message to squad

James Coppinger
James Coppinger
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Doncaster Rovers captain James Coppinger has told his teammates to blank out any boos and just deal with the expectation placed upon them.

Rovers host Cambridge United tonight looking to record their first win of the season.

Darren Ferguson’s men were booed off at half time at home to Crawley Town on Saturday before improving in the second half.

Coppinger says that sort of reaction is something that the new-look Rovers squad just have to deal with and take on the chin.

“This season it’s all about us. The expectation level is going to be a lot different to last season and we’re expected to win games, especially at home,” said Coppinger.

“People need to deal with that, especially the people that are playing.

“As players you can’t be affected by that [the booing]. That’s just the reality of it.

“The sooner you realise that, the easier it’s going to be.

“You need to start concentrating on what’s happening on the pitch, not on what’s happening around you.

“The expectation of the fans is that Doncaster Rovers is a League One or Championship club, not a League Two club.

“It’s going to be difficult for players who think otherwise, that they’re going to step on the pitch and it’s just going to happen. This division isn’t about this.

“The fans aren’t going to accept that, the manager is not going to accept it and us as players can’t accept it.

“So we need to demand more from each other and get better performances.”

Cambridge arrive at the Keepmoat also hoping to bag their first league win of the season.

Shaun Derry’s side knocked Sheffield Wednesday out of the EFL Cup.

“We played them last season in the FA Cup and I thought they did really well against us,” said Coppinger.

“They were organised and well drilled.

“There are some good teams in this league and they play in a different way. Some teams play longer than others. Every game’s different.

“We work hard on the training pitch in preparation, although it didn’t look like that in the first half on Saturday. It looked like we didn’t know what we were doing.

“But the second half was a lot better and we played with a higher tempo. That’s the way we’ve got to play at home, we’ve got to pressurize teams and put the onus on them.”