Doncaster Rovers v Morecambe: James Coppinger content to see out EFL days with Rovers

Doncaster Rovers' James Coppinger (
Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe).
Doncaster Rovers' James Coppinger ( Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe).
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James Coppinger expects to end his Football League career with Doncaster Rovers after committing his future to the Keepmoat Stadium club.

Rovers captain Coppinger – along with defender Andy Butler – this week agreed to extend their contracts for 18 months until 2018.

Coppinger holds the record for club appearances at Doncaster – who he joined in 2004 – and the 36-year-old does not expect to play for another EFL club when his Rovers career is over.

“I think for me it will be Doncaster till the end,” the winger said.

“I cannot see myself going anywhere else after here to be honest, I enjoy playing my football here and when I do leave Doncaster, I would still like to play but more locally.

“The fans play a massive part in that, and I think that there is a feel good factor about the place.”

Rovers manager Darren Ferguson said Butler and Coppinger were model professionals for Rovers’ aspiring youngsters to follow.

“All credit to them, they’ve been outstanding. It’s the form they’re in that’s got them the deals,” he said.

“They’ve both been very good and fully deserve the contract extensions, the pair of them just keep on improving with age. Their experience has been key for us in getting to where we are now.

“It fits into what we want to do, we want young players to have experienced professionals to look up to.”

Both Coppinger and Butler have played key roles in Doncaster leading the way in League Two as they look to bounce straight back from relegation last season.

They host Morecambe today with a 16-point buffer over the play-off places, and boast an unbeaten home record at the Keepmoat Stadium this season.

You have to go back to March 28 last year when leaders 
Rovers last lost on home turf, a 1-0 defeat to Blackpool in League One.

“It’ll be a tough game and we’ve got to make sure we stick to the standards we’ve been setting,” Ferguson said.

“We’ve dealt with the expectations very well, our goal on Saturday is to beat Morecambe, nothing else.

“12 goals in the last four games is fantastic. I’m delighted with how we’re going with 18 games to go.”

Rovers youngsters Joe Pugh and Reece Fielding will spend the next month on loan at non-league Frickley Athletic.