Michael Chopra firing for the new season – and he has the stats to prove it
MICHAEL Chopra is ready to prove the doubters wrong after revealing he is flying in pre-season.
Town’s top scorer might have hit 14 goals last year but it was his off-the-pitch antics that caught the attention too often.
But following time spent at an American fitness camp, as part of Paul Jewell’s training regime during the long summer break, Chopra is buzzing ahead of next month’s season opener at home to Blackburn Rovers.
After tweeting photos of his new trim physique on Twitter, Chopra has again taken to the social media platform to reassure fans he will be flying in the Championship.
Following the start of official pre-season training on Thursday, the forward said: “We done a (beep) test this time last year, I got level 14. We done the same test on thur (Thursday) and got 19.1 so I’m feeling very good about myself this year.
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“I believe I will be top scorer. I had a very bad season last year and scored 14 goals so u can only imagine how many I will score if I have a good season.”
In one sense, top scoring with 14 goals was a decent return in a season dominated by court cases, club fines and his public admission of his gambling problem.
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But Chopra, who had two spells of eight games where he didn’t find the net, knows he still has some way to go to convince Town fans he is worth the effort.
The striker, along with team mates Josh Carson and Joe Whight, took a break from the start of pre-season training to support a special charity football match on Sunday raising money for Mason’s Magic, set up by the family of seven-year-old Mason Fountain.
Supporters will get their first glimpse of whether Chopra can back up his words with action during next week’s pre-season tour of the Netherlands.
The trip holds happy memories for the striker after he made his debut for the Blues in the country last season – netting twice in the side’s 2-0 win over FC Eindhoven.
Meanwhile, Town target Daryl Murphy was a second half sub for Celtic last night in their first pre-season friendly. Murphy hit the post for the Hoops but they were held to a goalless draw at Bundesliga side Augsburg.
Jewell this week admitted Murphy’s wages at the Glasgow giants and the fact that there might be a transfer fee involved meant his attempts to get the player for a third spell at Portman Road were looking less and less likely.
* ‘Chopra’s debut brace seals Ipswich victory’ – see related link at the top right-hand-side of this page