DONCASTER Rovers’ midfielder James Coppinger is hoping to produce a few fireworks at Portman Road today - not that he has anything to prove to Ipswich Town boss Paul Jewell.
Jewell tried to sign the 30 year-old as part of a £2.6m package, including Billy Sharp, during the summer.
“I thought that I had my best season last year and when you do play well you generally attract attention from other clubs,” he said.
“Ipswich are a big club with a proud tradition and obviously it was flattering to be linked to them but I stayed on at Doncaster and signed a new contract and was happy to do so. I’m the longest serving player at the club and for me loyalty counts for a lot, though in football it often counts for nothing.”
Coppinger accepts that his performance today will come under closer scrutiny than usual by fans of Rovers’ opponents given that Jewell looked to sign him but says that won’t affect his game.
“I’ll just be treating it like any other game against them,” he told the Star. “For me it’s always nice to play against Ipswich because they are a good team and it will be a good test for me. It’s a nice pitch - it was probably the best pitch I played on last season - and we did well there and were a bit unlucky to lose 3-2 on the day.”
The last time the two sides met the Tractor Boys inflicted a record 6-0 home league defeat on Rovers, but Coppinger claims the game will count for nothing.
“I don’t think it will be on people’s minds,” he said. “When that sort of thing happens you try and forget it as quickly as possible. In any case there will probably be a lot of players involved today who didn’t experience it.
“It wasn’t a 6-0 game but it was a time when we had a lot of injuries and we had no fit strikers and we had Dean Shiels up front.
“They’ve had a bit of an up and down season so far. They’ve brought in a lot of new players and it takes time to gel but once they get all their players firing I think they’ve got the players capable of pushing on for a play-off spot.
“They’ve lost their last two games but they’ll have today’s game down as a winnable game, as would anybody given our position in the league, and there are going to be no easy games for us in the coming weeks.”