Doncaster Rovers: Has this season gone the way James Coppinger expected?
James Coppinger has been there, done it and got the promotion t-shirt with Doncaster Rovers. Twice.
And ahead of Sunday’s title tussle with Plymouth Argyle he says if and when Rovers get over the League Two finish line this season it will be just reward for everyone’s hard work.
The Star asked the 36-year-old recently if the season had gone how he had expected before a ball was kicked. After a shaky start, Coppinger’s expectations have been matched and possibly even exceeded.
“I think at the start of the season - when we lost at Accrington and then we drew - it was difficult,” said Coppinger.
“But I always thought we would do really well based on who we signed, how hard we worked in pre-season and the togetherness.
“But you have to perform on the pitch. It took a little bit of time and to be fair we’ve come through that little difficult spell and we’ve lost two games in 25 which for me is unbelievable.
“It’s a testament to how hard we work.
“I’ve won titles and been promoted with teams in the past and you see the same sort of things on the training ground and off the pitch - people wanting to get better and wanting to improve.
“That’s especially been the case with the younger players, and the players that have been brought in on loan.
“We’ve brought in the right characters and the group polices itself really well. No one can overstep the mark or take shortcuts. You can see it’s working.”
Rovers can move nine points clear of second-placed Plymouth with victory this weekend.
Coppinger said: “We couldn’t be in a better position. We’re almost there now but we’re not, so you can’t afford to even think that until it’s mathematically done and we’re over the line.
“It’ll be a big relief when it does happen.”