Blades test is Rovers’ starter for ten - Coppinger

James Coppinger, in action in the recent win over Bradford.
James Coppinger, in action in the recent win over Bradford.

James Coppinger says the next ten league games will determine whether Doncaster Rovers can challenge for promotion.

Rovers face a hectic end to the year with at least 11 matches scheduled in six weeks - starting with the visit of Sheffield United on Saturday.

They will also come up against four of the current top eight sides in League One before the end of the year.

And stand-in skipper Coppinger accepts it is a period of fixtures likely to make or break the season.

“If we can find that consistency in the next ten games we can definitely achieve something this season,” said Coppinger.

“We’re only a third of the way through the season. We haven’t found that formula in terms of consistency yet but we know it’s there. We know we can produce performances that get results.”

Long-serving Coppinger rejects outright any talk of consolidation.

“You don’t go into a season thinking we’re just going to finish mid-table,” he said.

“We’ve got a hungry bunch of players here that want to do well.

“Over the last ten years at this club we’ve always been fighting for promotion or to stay in the league.

“We’ve had a tough four or five years in the Championship, fighting to stay in there. But like I said at the start of the season we want to achieve something - and that has to start every day in training.”

Nathan Tyson (knee) is a doubt for this weekend, while on-loan Blades defender Andy Butler is ineligible and Dean Furman is away on international duty.