Chopra quality surprises Jewell

IPSWICH TOWN: You would think you would know what you are getting in signing Michael Chopra.

A stereotypical fox in the box, a goal-getter who will be near the top of the charts come the end of the season. Both of the above.

But Ipswich Town boss Paul Jewell has admitted even he has been surprised by his new �1.5 million summer signing.

Chopra has scored four goals in pre-season and is raring to go for tomorrow’s season-opener, boasting an impressive scoring record against opponents Bristol City.

And judging by his comments yesterday, Jewell is tipping his number ten for a great season after his switch from Cardiff to Suffolk.

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Jewell said: “He is a terrific player, a better player than I actually thought. He has got great movement, he is quick, he can score a goal and he is intelligent on the pitch. He’s got an awful lot going for him.”

Chopra is a certain starter against Bristol City but there remains some speculation over where he will be the figurehead of a 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation or whether Jewell will adopt a more standard 4-4-2.

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A public supporter of the latter system, the manager again reiterated that his side would have to be “fluid and versatile” in their approach to every game.

Despite admitting disappointment in his failure to add to his seven summer signings, Jewell is clearly happy with how his squad is shaping up.

With six of his new men set to start at Ashton Gate, the Town boss said: “We have got a bit of experience with Lee Bowyer, the young precocious talent of Jay Emmanuel Thomas, young Cressie (Aaron Cresswell).

“I think they’ve all got different strengths – I’m pleased with them all.”

With the majority of Town supporters more optimistic than for many years, Jewell yesterday preached a degree of caution and patience among supporters.

But he said: “To get the vibrancy and the family feel that is already here, we just have to add winning games and get the feel-good factor back at Ipswich. That is what we are after.

“We need to get that winning mentality back at the football club. That takes time, it is not going to happen overnight. But the more matches we win, the more that mentality is going to come back.”

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