FORMER Rovers midfielder Ricky Ravenhill is backing Dean Saunders to bring in a replacement for James Coppinger.
Ravenhill, currently on the books at League Two side Bradford City, is still in contact with winger Coppinger and believes that he was loyal to Rovers for as long as he could be and doesn’t blame him for departing to Championship side Nottingham Forest on loan.
Coppinger is undoubtedly a big loss to the side and Ravenhill, who played for four years with Rovers and spent two of them alongside Coppinger, feels that Saunders will have to bring in a player who can create goals to fill the void.
“I know that the fans took to him and a lot of people will have been sad to see him go but James had been at the club a long time and has shown a lot of loyalty and had the club still been in the Championship then I think he’d still be there,” Ravenhill told The Star.
“I still speak to James often and he is getting into the prime of his career now and he deserves to be playing as high up as he possibly can.
“He has great ability and some of the things we used to see him do at the training ground with the ball were unbelievable.
“Sometimes in a side you need somebody who is technically gifted and who can go past a player and fizz a ball into dangerous areas. Of course he’ll be a loss to he side but nobody is irreplaceable and Dean will have a replacement in mind.”
Another Rovers player that Ravenhill is familiar with is Dave Syers. Ravenhill shared a central midfield berth with him prior to his summer switch to the Keepmoat.
Ravenhill believes that Syers is a very useful signing given Rovers’ shortage of bodies and that he could manufacture himself a role in the side. “I know that he’s got a great engine and he has an eye for a goal which is good because everybody needs a goal-scoring midfielder,” said Ravenhill. “I don’t think he’s an out and out striker and he isn’t a Xavi, who is going to govern the game either.”
It has been noted before that Syers is not your typical footballer and Ravenhill remembers an occasion last season where the Bantams players got to poke fun at him.
“We had the seven hour drive down to Plymouth and he had his head stuck in the kindle the whole time,” laughed Ravenhill.
“To be fair to him he does take it on the chin but we have to realise that some footballers need their brain worked!”
The loan window is open and Rovers are expected to strengthen. Sheffield Wednesday’s third choice keeper Nicky Weaver was linked with a move a fortnight ago.