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Michael Chopra is one of the best at Ipswich Town – says his manager Mick McCarthy

PUBLISHED: 23:34 19 November 2012

Michael Chopra

Michael Chopra

Archant

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

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.”

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Ipswich Town new boy Dominic Iorfa believes his strongest position, in the long-term, will be centre-back.

Three of Ipswich Town’s summer signings are struggling to be fit for next Saturday’s Championship opener against Birmingham City, at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he will be restricted to signing a striker on loan due to the fact the Blues can’t compete financially with some of the ‘bonkers’ transfer fees being spent in the Championship.

Blues fans of all ages have gathered at Portman Road today to meet their heroes ahead of the start of the new season.

Huge queues are building up outside Portman Road this morning for today’s annual Ipswich Town Open Day.

The second tier season starts next Friday, however, clubs are working frantically to add to their squads, ahead of a long campaign. Several deals HAVE already been done though and CHRIS BRAMMER picks out six of the best.

Nearly 60 per cent of Ipswich Town fans would like to see Luke Chambers start in the heart of the Blues defence, alongside Adam Webster, when the Championship season begins next Saturday.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he is prepared to play a waiting game to sign the right striker before the transfer window shuts.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy won’t sacrifice results to satisfy supporters’ thirst for more attractive football at Portman Road this season.

Colchester United manager John McGreal insists his players still have a lot of room for improvement, ahead of the U’s League Two opener at Accrington Stanley, next Saturday.

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