Curtis Coppen - 10/08/2019

12 Aug 2019 in Post Match Interview

Curtis Coppen - 10/08/2019 Curtis Coppen - 10/08/2019

COPPEN SETS HIMSELF A NEW TARGET

By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC skipper Curtis Coppen picked up the ‘Man of the Match’ award on Saturday following his sides 2-0 victory over Albion Sports in the extra preliminary round of the Emirates FA Cup. And the centre back - who opened the scoring with a header seconds before the half time whistle – revealed he has set himself a revised goals target for the campaign.

Coppen said: “I used to target five a season but this term I’ve upped it to eight. It was good to get one early and to be honest I should have had a brace but Danny Anderson was flagged offside. The goal itself came from a good corner by Danny (Anderson) with good whip on it and I know I can beat any marker at the back post on my day. The ‘keeper came out too and as soon as he did that I knew I was going to score. It could have been anyone’s game had it not happened and the goal came at a brilliant time for us. They (Albion Sports) ended up pushing on a lot after half time and the second goal from Karl Ross with 20 minutes to go was also timely.”

The 24 year old reckons the 2-1 league win over West Auckland four days beforehand had given the squad a ‘big boost.’ “After the first 20 minutes against West, I thought to myself ‘we are going to get something out of this’ - which we did - and the result should really kick our season on as I reckon West Auckland will be in the top three come the end of the season. Our opening match at Hebburn where we lost 5-1 was frustrating. We should have been two goals ahead and it would have been a different game. In the end the difference was that they took their chances but for me Hebburn are the best side in the league and I think they will win the division.”

Ashington-born Coppen was pleased with his team mates after back to back wins: “Gavin Caines has come in and been excellent and I feel as if I am playing in a good back four,” he said, “Gavin talks a lot which is good because it takes it off me whilst Marc Lancaster is probably the best left back in this league and Stephen Gibson has slotted into the right back spot well considering he is a centre half.”

He went on: “We have talked about turning Woodhorn Lane into a fortress - and we are doing alright so far with the two teams who have come here (West Auckland and Albion Sports) finding things difficult. We are looking solid but we need to pick points up away from home.”

Manager Ian Skinner said: “Curtis is in a good place at the minute and is enjoying his football. You could see when he came off the pitch on Tuesday night against West Auckland that he was full of enthusiasm and when he scored today was cock-a-hoop. He’s leading a bit by example. He’s vocal but not what you would think a stereo typical captain should be – he’s an all round good player at this level and we’re delighted to have him in our ranks. It’s great for us because he is doing really well, he likes it here and feels part of something and long may that continue. If he keeps performing at the level which he is then he’ll hopefully help us to win football matches.”

Meanwhile Bedlington-based Coppen is relishing his new post: “I’m really enjoying the role and responsibility of being captain,” he said, “In the past, I would go out socialising on the night before a match but now I stay in the house - and I think it is paying dividends on the pitch.”

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