Doncaster Rovers aim to keep ace

Staying put: James Coppinger will not be leaving next month . Picture: Star Photographer
Staying put: James Coppinger will not be leaving next month . Picture: Star Photographer

DONCASTER Rovers longest-serving player James Cotterill is set to return to the Keepmoat Stadium club next month at the end of his loan spell at Nottingham Forest.

And the club made it clear that despite the fact that Coppinger is the highest paid player on the club’s books that they want him to stay and help bolster the club’s League One promotion bid.

Fears that if Coppinger, who has struggled to break into the Forest starting line-up, returned to the club it would hamper manager Dean Saunders’ efforts to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window were dispelled by the major shareholders yesterday afternoon.

Impressed by the job that Saunders has done in his first 15 months in charge, and convinced that he is the right man to take Rovers forward, they have decided to provide the finance to enable him to ‘go’ for promotion.

Saunders, meanwhile, is focusing all his attention on tomorrow’s visit of promotion rivals MK Dons. Rovers hopes are boosted by the return to full fitness of leading scorer David Cotterill, who came off after just 25 minutes in last weekend’s 4-1 defeat against Coventry. He could also be able to add midfielders Martin Woods and David Syers to his squad after injury.

Cotterill is predicting a tough game for Rovers.

“I’ve seen them play a couple of times and they play the right way,” he told The Star. “They pass the ball around and they’ve got some good players who have been together for a long time so they know each other’s game. They are up there as people expected them to be. They are going to have a lot of the ball because that is how they play.”