DONCASTER ROVERS: Reds chase Rovers star James Coppinger

James Coppinger
James Coppinger

BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill has told The Star that he’s interested in signing Doncaster Rovers midfielder James Coppinger on loan.

Hill is without no fewer than 10 players due to injury, while keeper Ben Alnwick remains suspended for one more match after his red card against Rochdale in the Capital One Cup.

Chris Brown.

Chris Brown.

“I’m an admirer of James, he’s an intelligent footballer,” Hill told The Star. “We’re very vulnerable out wide with our injuries, so hopefully we might be able to sign him.”

Rovers are thought likely to consider any approach given the continuing need to reduce their budget.

Yet to start in either of the club’s league games, Coppinger got a great reception when he came off the bench in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Bury.

Striker Chris Brown, meanwhile, has led from the front as Rovers have got their 2012-13 campaign off to a flying start.

Two wins out of two in the league, and a place in the second round of the Capital One Cup, has helped lift a lot of the gloom which hung over the Keepmoat Stadium following relegation from the Championship last May.

Brown spent more time on the treatment table than the football pitch last season following his summer move from Preston North End. But he has more than made up for lost time this season and has scored in every game so far - including the late winner in Tuesday’s game - and has struck up a good partnership with recent signing Billy Paynter.

The two men - briefly at Hull together earlier in their careers - looked as though they had played together for years, rather than it being their first game together in Rovers’ colours, in the build-up to the opening goal scored by Brown in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Walsall.

They also combined well against the Shakers and there looks to be more to come as Paynter, who missed out on a lot of pre-season action at Leeds United before joining Rovers, gets fitter.

“I sometimes prefer to play with another big striker like Billy; he shares the workload,” said Doncaster-born Brown. “He’s obviously got an eye for a goal and not only is he good in the air but he’s also good with his feet and hopefully we are going to be good foils for each other.

“Having two big men up front also means that keeper Gary Woods has got more margin for error with his kicks up field.

“Having Billy up there with me is not only taking a bit of pressure off me but it is also giving defenders another problem and they can’t concentrate solely on marking me.”

Brown is hoping that the new-look Rovers’ partnership will continue to flourish in Saturday’s game against Crawley Town at the Keepmoat.

It is the first ever meeting between the two clubs and Brown admitted prior to today’s training session that he knows little about the Sussex club, briefly managed by Sean O’Driscoll who brought him to Doncaster, during the close season.

“They are a bit of an unknown quantity at this stage but no doubt we’ll be fully briefed before Saturday’s game,” he told The Star.

“We’ve known all about Walsall and Bury before we played them and it will be the same on Saturday.

“As I say, I don’t know much about them at this moment in time but they’ve obviously got momentum after two promotions and players get used to winning and they got off to a winning start on Saturday.

“We’ve got to make sure that they don’t come to the Keepmoat on Saturday and take anything from us. I’d expect that they are going to come here and work hard and try and make it awkward for us. They’ll probably sit in and try and catch us on the break.”