MICK McCarthy is unconcerned about Michael Chopra’s past problems – only making sure last season’s top scorer is back among the goals.

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Chopra’s season has mirrored his club’s after a promising start was followed by a poor run of form which has seen him suffer a goal drought that is closing in on three months.

The striker has scored just twice in 13 games this season but hasn’t started in the last eight matches under Paul Jewell and now McCarthy.

DJ Campbell’s fine form has seen the former Cardiff City man benched, while the loan signing of Tyrone Barnett from Peterborough last night threw fresh doubt on the futures of Chopra and Jason Scotland.

But McCarthy said: “I have a lot of time for Chops, certainly in terms of his ability. He’s been one of the really good Championship players over the last how many years and I’d like to get that out of him again.

“I just want to see him on the pitch. I’ve seen him in training and he is one of the best players here, there is no doubt about that.”

What has held Chopra back from fulfilling his full potential at Portman Road has arguably been his off-pitch problems – a public admission of his gambling problems, a club fine over nightclub activities, last season, and now a charge of race-fixing – something that is set to be determined in the New Year.

McCarthy said: “I actually don’t know about his (Chopra’s) problems. Why he’s not been in the team is for other people to say, all I can say is I’ve seen what he’s doing and I’ve been impressed.

“In DJ Campbell though we’ve got Johnny on the spot at the minute because he’s sticking the ball in the net.”

Chopra got his first minutes after McCarthy in Saturday’s 6-0 hammering by Leicester but McCarthy admitted at the end that he brought off Campbell to ensure he was fit for this weekend’s must-win home game against Peterborough.

Barnett will eventually hope to get the nod alongside Campbell, he will be eligible from next Tuesday’s home match against Nottingham Forest, with Daryl Murphy likely to start against Posh.

But the latest loan signing will also be competing with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas who has been used almost exclusively as a reserve striker by the Town boss.

Of the former Arsenal man, McCarthy added: “He’s another really talented player, I think he can give us more and we’re trying to get the best of him.”

7 comments

  • That's not saying much is it, really? And if he's so good, why does he permanently warm the subs' bench these days?

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    Tom

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Is n't it about time he showed what a supposed good player he is? We have heard his promises, statements of intent and criticism of us "know nothing" supporters but as yet have seen little to demonstrate we are wrong. He has only ever scored 20 in a season twice and that was a few years ago. Surely it is time he can show us he can make the papers for the right reasons.

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    SussexTractorBoy

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Michael Chopra certainly had talent but how long have we been saying that? We know he will never be a goal in two man but even a goal in four would be an improvement on his current record. No 20 goals this season though chops!

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    FRANK WESTON

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Kevin was it 20 or 30 goals?

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    Tom

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Phew! I thought MM had lost his bearings when I read this headline. After several readings of the article I feel a bit more comfortable. It's all about context. Chopra, it seems is one of the better trainers from a pool of players who are bottom of the league and routinely travel in from their distant homes and whose first commitment is their host club. Glad that's sorted.

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    peter sadler

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Am I the only one to have noticed that Chops is the spitting image of Steve Carell (American version of "The Office" etc)?

    Report this comment

    Pete James

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • I think MM is quite right to try and lift Chopra, as he has nothing to lose, and quite a lot to gain, if the Chopra that apparently came back from California ready to go, to score 20 goals, and fitter than ever. Personally, I sympathise with Chopra's addictive difficulties (not from personal experience) yet beyond that, I am hugely disappointed in the comments he made on twitter, and feel that the attitude he has had towards the second chance he has been given at Ipswich, has been dreadful. If there is one player who owes the club something, it is Chopra, and it is about time he delivered, frankly.

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    Kevin Bailey

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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