PAUL DICKOV COLUMN: Why James Coppinger is the best professional I have managed

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Tomorrow’s game is not just a very important one in the context of our season but it is also a celebration of James Coppinger’s career at Doncaster Rovers.

It’s just really unfortunate that he might not be available through injury.

James Coppinger

James Coppinger

James is touch and go at the moment. His ankle isn’t as bad as we first feared at Gillingham though and he should hopefully be back in the squad for Swindon next Tuesday.

I’ve said previously Copps is the best professional I have worked with since I became a manager. He’s a manager’s dream.

He gets on with his job and he trains every day as if it was a matchday, and he approaches and plays every game as if it was his last one.

I genuinely think he has got fitter with age. I know he’s out at the moment but he keeps himself in such good shape. When you add the ability and talent he has to that, it’s a great mix.

He really is a credit to himself and the club. You often see him around the training ground speaking to the younger lads, and also the more senior lads at times if they’re having a bad time.

There’s not one person within the football club that does not respect him. In the nicest possible way, that’s rare in any sort of squad. There’s always one or two that might not get on. But with Copps he’s got the respect of everybody.

All of us can’t wait for this game tomorrow.

There’ll be a big crowd - possibly the biggest of the season - and what we want to do is go out there and be really positive.

Last season our best performances came in front of bigger crowds. The players really rose to it.

I know I am, and the players too are really buzzing for it this weekend.

I want us to take the game to a good Peterborough team who have been in good form. It seems like every game recently we’ve come up against the form team! We played Colchester who had just beaten Bristol City, Preston were coming off the back of a big win, Gillingham were flying and now Peterborough have won their last three games.

That’s the run we’re on but we have to just concentrate on ourselves. I want us to really go for it tomorrow. We’ve shown that when we play to our best, we’re a match for anyone in this division.

We looked a bit leggy at Gillingham but the lads have all had a couple of days off this week and they’re raring to go.