Michael Chopra to be dropped as Ipswich Town’s penalty taker, claims Jason Scotland
IPSWICH Town striker Jason Scotland accepts that he may only play a bit-part role for the Blues this season – but insists he will be ahead of fellow front man Michael Chopra when it comes to taking penalties.
Chopra netted 14 times in a debut campaign hindered by off-field issues, and has now set himself an ambitious goal target of 30 for 2012/13 following an intensive fitness camp in California earlier this summer.
And while the former Cardiff man has scored an impressive six goals in pre-season, it looks as though he may have relinquished spot-kick duties after seeing an attempt saved in the 3-1 Capital One Cup win against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Championship opener against Blackburn Rovers at Portman Road, Scotland said: “I don’t think Michael will be the penalty taker. If I am on the pitch, I will be taking the penalties, for sure. If I am not on the pitch, I will let the boys decide.”
The Blues converted just half of the six penalties they were awarded in the Championship last season. Grant Leadbitter – now no longer at the club – scored against Nottingham Forest, but failed to convert against Middlesbrough and Millwall.
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Chopra had an attempt at Leicester saved, while Lee Martin netted against West Ham and Scotland scored in the season closer at Doncaster.
Having returned to his native Trinidad for a break at the start of the summer, Scotland penned a new one-year deal on reduced wages upon his return.
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Blues boss Paul Jewell could continue playing one up front in a 4-2-3-1 system this season and is still searching for a target man addition to his squad. Scotland – who started 20 games last season, making a further 17 appearances from the bench – believes he still has a big role to play though.
“There was never any doubt about me signing,” said the striker, who started and scored in midweek.
“I wanted to have a break from football to clear my mind, but I told the gaffer before I left that I would sign.
“At the end of last season I kind of lost my head a little bit but I think I have come back fitter and stronger.
“I’m 33 and turn 34 in February and want to play as much as possible. My body probably wouldn’t allow me to play as much as my mind wants me to, but as long as I’m fit, I want to contribute as much as I can and give what I have.
“I have spoken to the gaffer and he has a plan to use me for certain games and give me a rest for other games.”