Doncaster Rovers: Coppinger is Rovers’ ‘Peter Pan’ man

Doncaster Rovers' James Coppinger.
Doncaster Rovers' James Coppinger.
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Paul Dickov insists that James Coppinger could venture into coaching, but says he’s still got plenty more playing years in him just yet.

The Scotsman referred to his influential midfielder as ‘Peter Pan’ after the 33-year-old continues to show no signs of slowing down in his pivotal role with Doncaster.

Dickov also believes the former Darlington trainee has the qualities to make it as a coach but expects him to continue on the field for a few years, particularly in the red and white of Rovers.

“He’s like Peter Pan at the minute, the older he gets, the fitter and better he’s getting,” said Dickov.

“But he’s got a lot more years in him yet playing-wise.”

Coppinger’s experience will have been of immense value at the club this week as Rovers look to move on from their poor performance at Walsall on Saturday.

The former Exeter midfielder was part of the side that limped out of the Banks Stadium with a 3-0 defeat as Dean Smith’s side ran riot on home turf.

But Doncaster have the chance to get back to winning ways when they travel to Scunthorpe United this weekend.

And long-serving stalwart Coppinger’s presence and experience will no doubt be used to its full advantage during this week’s crucial training programme.

Dickov says that Coppinger can act as a shining example to the club’s younger players.

“I love working with players who want to learn,” said the Doncaster boss.

“Copps is a stand-out example, the way he trains everyday, how he handles himself.

“He wants to better himself all of the time.

“He’s a big one after games to go over his stats.

“He wants to now many crosses he’s made, shots he’s had and he always wants to better himself.

“He’s our most senior pro in regards of games and if the younger lads see somebody like James doing that, leading by example, they’re going to follow.

“He encourages players on the pitch but more importantly he pulls them aside, one-on-one, chats to them and lets them know where they’re going wrong.

“He lets them know that even though he’s still a senior pro, he still has to learn and that’s rubbing off on the group.”

Rovers have announced their home clash with Notts County on October 11 has been postponed due to international call-ups.