Doncaster Rovers: New dad Coppinger keen for a return to action against Watford

James Coppinger will return to the Rovers squad tonight
James Coppinger will return to the Rovers squad tonight

James Coppinger is keen to get his hands dirty tonight – and not with his newborn daughter’s nappies.

The wide man missed Rovers’ win over Huddersfield on Saturday after his partner went into labour.

Now he is the proud father of baby girl Phoebe, but determined to get straight back into the thick of it with Rovers, starting tonight against Watford.

And boss Paul Dickov is equally keen to see him back.

“Copps had his family time on Saturday,” Dickov joked.

“In all seriousness, we like to look after our players with things like that.

“But James is the first one to say he wants to be back in training and back in the team because he’s been playing well recently.

“We send him and his family congratulations on their new little girl and all we want from him is to give us a performance on Tuesday night.”

Despite the impressive performance against Huddersfield, Dickov has hinted he could make changes for the visit of the Hornets this evening.

He said: “I thought everyone was fantastic and it will be hard to change it.

“But we’ll have a look at the opposition and how we want to set up.

“If we have to change one or two things around we’ll do it.

“I expect we’ll have to have a very similar performance without the ball.

“They tend to play 3-5-2 which causes a problem within itself and we’ll have to look for a way to counteract that.

“Giuseppe Sannino has worked on them defensively since he came in and they’re not a free-flowing attacking-wise as they were under Gianfranco Zola.

“They’re a tough team to break down and they defend deep so we’re going to have to slightly alter the way we play to deal with that.”

Dickov expects tonight to see his side continue their trend of producing better performances against the division’s most talented side.

But he reiterated the need for discipline to ensure Rovers impress.

He said: “I’ve always believed that if we keep our discipline without the ball we can hurt any team.

“It’s when our team shape is not quite right that we tend to struggle but we’ve been working on that a lot recently.

“We know our home form is good and, for whatever reason, when we play the better sides is when we get our best performances.

“If we can build on the performance from Saturday tomorrow night it gives us a chance of pulling away from the bottom again.”