Doncaster Rovers: No worries

Staying up: James Coppinger is confident Rovers will still be a Championship side this time next year.           Picture: Steve Taylor
Staying up: James Coppinger is confident Rovers will still be a Championship side this time next year. Picture: Steve Taylor
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DONCASTER Rovers star James Coppinger has adopted a philosophical approach to the club being installed as 13-8 favourites to be relegated from the Championship next season.

“I suppose the bookies’ were always going to make us one of the favourites to be relegated in view of the fact that we finished fourth bottom last season,” he said. “But I personally don’t read too much into such things at this time of the year.

“If I remember correctly, Blackpool were tipped to go down the season they were promoted to the Premier League.

“A lot can happen between now and the start of the season and a lot depends on what players the chairman and manager bring in over the next few weeks.

“Unfortunately we are going to be without several players due to long-term injuries at the start of the season and the manager is probably going to have to bring players in on loan. But we’ve done that every season we’ve been in the Championship and the majority of them have been good signings.

“The manager has done well in the loan market and I’m sure that will be the case next season.”

Coppinger, for one, is pleased that Rovers’ boss Sean O’Driscoll will still be at the helm next season and applauds the directors for keeping faith with him during a poor run of results in the second half of last season.

“People might say that the manager is not the most charismatic manager in the Championship, but when it comes to football and tactics, he’s one of the best,” he said.

“The relationship between the manager and the chairman is superb - it’s like no other at this level - and it did help last season when we were battling against relegation that we knew he’d be here next season no matter what.”

Coppinger is confident, despite the bookies’ predictions, that Rovers will still be a Championship side this time next year - though he is reluctant to predict where they will finish next season.

“I think that the Championship is one of those divisions which is really hard to call,” he said. “I don’t think too many people, including the bookies, thought that Norwich City would win automatic promotion after coming up from League One.

“Equally, I don’t think many people would have expected Sheffield United to go down. It was even a shock to see Preston relegated. They were an established Championship side and had finished in the play-offs a couple of years earlier. I think anyone can win promotion as has been proved in the last two years.”