DONCASTER Rovers winger James Coppinger has rubbished the FA Cup insisting it is a competition that his club no longer needs.
Coppinger was speaking in the wake of his side's 5-0 third round replay defeat at Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday night.
The former Newcastle United player, 30 claimed the oldest Cup competition in the world was now only important for a 'few clubs' and that Rovers' involvement this season had been a distraction from their priority of the league.
"I think I speak for a lot of the lads when I say the FA Cup is a fantastic competition but only for a certain amount of teams – the big teams and the small teams – and Doncaster is a team in between. We don't really need the FA Cup, if I'm being honest," he said. "It's come at the wrong time for us and we didn't really need these games."
Rovers had progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup in the last two seasons but, prior to that, had gone 23 years without getting past the third round.
Only 8,500 supporters watched the clubs draw 2-2 at the Keepmoat Stadium and just over 10,000 attended Tuesday's replay at Molineux.
"For me personally, the FA Cup is more of a distraction than anything else," Coppinger reflected. "As I have got older, the priority is the league for Doncaster Rovers and that won't change. You go into games in the Cup and there is not as much pressure on. The two games we have played (against Wolves) in the last week have hindered us rather than anything."
With Tuesday's defeat coming just three days after a shock 3-0 home defeat by Reading,
Rovers will be desperate to improve things when they visit
Ipswich Town in the Championship this weekend.
Coppinger is hoping that the last two results will serve as a wake-up call to Rovers who still harbour hopes of play-off qualification.
"If anything, you need these sort of situations to wake you up a bit," he said. "We made it too easy (for Wolves) and we have done that in a few games recently. We have to improve defensively because we don't want to be conceding goals like that.
"But we can't go into the Ipswich game feeling sorry for ourselves, thinking we have been beaten
3-0 and 5-0 and it's the end of the world, because football is so fickle and changes within a week.If we put in a good display against Ipswich and then Barnsley (next Tuesday) people will forget about these last two games. It's important we are all aware of that."
Manager Sean O'Driscoll still has a decision to make on the future of full-back Joseph Mills who missed Tuesday night's game with a knee injury and has now completed his loan deal from Southampton.
New signings Paul Keegan and Matthew Kilgallon will both be available for the trip to Ipswich.