Coppinger wary of threat from Cup underdogs

James Coppinger.
James Coppinger.
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IF anyone at Doncaster Rovers knows all about the underdog toppling a giant, it is James Coppinger.

The long-serving winger was famously part of Dave Penney’s side which reached the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup in 2005-06 when top-flight sides Aston Villa and Manchester City were embarrassingly sent packing at a far from salubrious Belle Vue.

Some nine years on and the boot is on the other foot as Rovers visit non-league minnows Weston-super-Mare in a FA Cup first-round tie at the Woodspring Stadium tomorrow, with everyone in that particular corner of the West Country salivating at the prospect of a cup shock.

Coppinger said: “Sometimes in the FA Cup, these sort of ties are one of those things and part and parcel of it and I enjoy them.

“I have been at the other end of it where you get big ties and it is all about an upset, isn’t it?

“I remember the Carling Cup when Arsenal, Aston Villa and Manchester City came to Belle Vue and we must have that mindset now we are going into this cup game.

“Both Villa and Man City came with the wrong mindset and got beaten and we have to go into the game and make sure that does not happen.

“The magic of the FA Cup is all about teams like Weston-super-Mare working hard to get to this round.

“They will have a strong belief they can go and win the game. If you don’t turn up preparing for a scrap and fight, you will get beaten.”

Echoing the thoughts of Coppinger is another of Rovers’ senior statesman in Richie Wellens, who also believes tomorrow’s tie is all about a collective rolling up of sleeves

He said: “I have not played one of these ties for a long, long time where you go to a non-league club and it is a great day out for their fans. It will be a full house there and these are really difficult games.

“I remember playing Chasetown one year at Oldham and we pulled up on the coach and the pitch looked great. But when we stepped on it, we were sinking three inches in mud and we were delighted to get away with a 1-1.”

Aston Villa full-back Enda Stevens has joined Rovers on loan.

The one-month spell will be the Irishman’s second loan stint at the club.