FERGIE’S A HARD MAN TO PLEASE

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Syd Phillips

DON­CASTER ROVERS man­ager Dar­ren Fer­gu­son has de­mand­ing stan­dards.

The son of fiery for­mer Man­ches­ter United boss Sir Alex saw his side climb to sec­ond in the League Two ta­ble with a fifth win in six games.

But he was not happy with Rovers’ dis­play af­ter this hard­fought 2-0 vic­tory over New­port County.

Goals in each half from James Cop­pinger and Andy Wil­liams were enough to see off strug­gling New­port.

But Fer­gu­son felt his play­ers were well be­low their best.

“I’m de­lighted with the win and the clean sheet,” said the Rovers boss.

“The three points is im­por­tant go­ing into three tough games now, but per­for­mance-wise the play­ers know that we set cer­tain stan­dards and we didn’t get to any­where near the level we can.

“It was a frus­trat­ing after­noon and even when it was 2-0 I never felt com­fort­able.

“We never re­ally got go­ing but we won and that’s the main thing.

“We’ll have to be a lot bet­ter next week against Lu­ton.”

Cop­pinger was pre­sented with a spe­cial shirt to com­mem­o­rate his 500 ap­pear­ances for the club and the fans at the Keep­moat Sta­dium sounded horns and show­ered the pitch with con­fetti in the 26th minute to hon­our their leg­endary mid­field stal­wart, who wears the num­ber 26.

And the 35-year-old marked the oc­ca­sion by con­vert­ing a free-kick that he won on the edge of the box on 17 min­utes to give his man­ager some­thing to smile about.

“That is four goals and three as­sists in eight games, so he’s pro­duc­ing at the top end of the pitch, which is the most im­por­tant thing,” added Fer­gu­son.

Wil­liams sealed the win just be­fore the hour mark with a smart curl­ing ef­fort af­ter Tommy Rowe had charged down an at­tempted clear­ance.

It left New­port County man­ager War­ren Feeney with a feel­ing of deja vu as he be­moaned ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sions from David Webb and de­fen­sive er­rors.

“I don’t think we played badly,” said Feeney, the for­mer North­ern Ire­land in­ter­na­tional striker whose team have won just one game since March. “We had enough chances but we can­not keep giv­ing teams goals. “There’ll not be many teams that come here and have a go and we cre­ated prob­a­bly the best two chances of the first half and should have had a penalty. “But the free-kick is the story of our sea­son. “They’re big de­ci­sions. I didn’t think it was a foul but it gives them the mo­men­tum. “I thought we played okay af­ter that and we started the sec­ond half well. “But we gave away a stupid goal again.”

PIC­TURES: Pro Sports

GOLDEN OLDIE: Don­caster Rovers mid­fielder James Cop­pinger cel­e­brates his open­ing goal

GRAP­PLE: Sean Rigg and Jor­dan Houghton tus­sle

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