Michael Chopra set for a more prominent role following superb goal

Michael Chopra gets a pat on the back from Town manager Mick McCarthy after coming on as a sub at Bo

Michael Chopra gets a pat on the back from Town manager Mick McCarthy after coming on as a sub at Bolton to score the winner

Ipswich v Watford: MICHAEL Chopra could be in line for only his second league start under Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy.

The 29-year-old has made more headlines for a string of off-field issues of late, but came off the bench to score a spectacular second-half winner in the 1-0 home win over Blackpool last Saturday.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s visit of in-form Watford, Mccarthy said: “There’s every chance (he’ll have a bigger role to play) after he went on and played like that. It wasn’t just his goal. I thought he worked really hard, defended from the front and I thought his all-round performance was excellent.

“I’m obviously aware of some of the off-field stuff, but I don’t get involved in all that. If it affects his football that’s different – but it hasn’t done.

“As a goalscorer it meant everything to him to get that winner. That’s what they want to do. I don’t think anything else other than scoring matters to those type of players.


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“If they don’t play well and score they’re happy. I often think if the team loses and they score then they aren’t unhappy. Of course they are sad to lose, but they’ve still got that inner glow because they’ve got a goal. That’s what makes them such predators and that’s what he is.”

He added: “It was my decision to reject loan offers for him last month. It wasn’t a case of him turning something down – it was my decision not to let him go anywhere.

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“We only had about 15 fit players at the time. I can’t take any more loans really – well I can, but I’d then have to leave out one of the ones we’ve got. I need my own contracted players. And I know Chops has got a goal in him. That’s why I put him on Saturday and he repaid me.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview.

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