Key duo ready to return for Doncaster Rovers’ play-off push

Doncaster Rovers' James Coppinger: Set to return.
Doncaster Rovers' James Coppinger: Set to return.
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Doncaster Rovers manager Grant McCann admits he has some selection conundrums for Saturday’s League One trip to Oxford United - with key duo Ben Whiteman and James Coppinger both in the fray to start.

Whiteman featured from the bench in Tuesday’s surprise home loss to Accrington as he continued to build his match fitness following an ankle injury.

Earlier in the day, the former Sheffield United man played in the first half of Rovers’ Under-23 development game with Rotherham United.

Veteran Coppinger was rested for the Accrington game, although he is understood to have taken some time off this week on compassionate leave.

McCann said: “Everyone (apart from the longer-term absentees) are fit, so that is pleasing.

“Alfie Beestin felt has hamstring in training today, so possibly could be a doubt, but he might be okay. Apart from that, everyone is good.

“The (Tuesday) game was perfect for Ben as he is a huge player for us.

“It was important he got some minutes in the reserve game, although I did not want to really bring him on for 45 minutes (for the first team), but you could see the benefits in terms of what he is all about. He sets the tone for us.

“You want conundrums as a manager and we have them now. I have a good squad to pick from.

“Copps has come back and is revitalised and fresh and trained very well this morning. He has been a huge player for us and is back in the squad this weekend and that is a huge boost for us.”

Rovers’ absentees are goalkeeper Ian Lawlor and defender Joe Wright, but they are ‘coming on well’ according to McCann.