Michael Chopra vows not to celebrate if he scores against former club Cardiff City
MICHAEL Chopra is desperate to continue his red-hot scoring streak tomorrow – but insists he won’t celebrate against former club Cardiff City should that happen.
Bluebirds fans will always retain a special place in their hearts for the 28-year-old after he scored close to a goal every other game for the Welsh club during two permanent spells and two loan spells there.
“I loved my time there,” said Chopra, who made a �1m switch from the Bluebirds to Portman Road last summer.
“They took me there two or three times throughout my career and were the first team that gave me a chance to play regular football after Newcastle.
“I’m not the sort who will see out a contract though, I wanted to be playing football so I jumped at the chance to come here.”
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He continued: “I didn’t celebrate when I scored there earlier in the season and I wouldn’t celebrate again out of respect for their fans who have always been good to me.
“You want all the teams that you used to play for to do well. Cardiff have got a good chance of promotion this season, but hopefully we can put a dent in that at the weekend.”
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Chopra’s four goals in three games has taken his goal tally for the season to 11, meaning only five players have scored more in the Championship this season.
“I feel back to my best,” said the striker. “I’m enjoying my football at the minute, the team are creating chances and I’ve been able to take them.
“I’ve got a lot of belief in myself and my ability. My target was 20 goals this season and, with 16 games left, I believe I can do that.
“I have to say it’s not just down to me though, it’s down to the 10 other players as well. If it wasn’t for them creating chances for me I wouldn’t be sticking the ball in the back of the net.”
Having spent three weeks in the Sporting Chance Clinic for a severe gambling addiction last October, Chopra admits manager Paul Jewell was right to drop him for the opening five games of 2012 following a noticeable dip in form.
He managed to steer clear of a relapse though by focusing his attentions on his four-year-old son and joining a mechanics course at Suffolk New College.
“It will be 18 weeks without a bet this weekend,” said Chopra.
“I still speak to Peter Kay (Sporting Chance chief executive) every now and again.
“It’s obviously not something that’s going to go away over night, it’s going to take years. I just take each day as it comes.”
He continued: “I miss my little boy (based in Newcastle), but every time I speak to him or see him it makes me appreciate football.
“The first kit he got was an Ipswich shirt and he always wears it to football training. He’s always on the iPad playing FIFA – he plays as Ipswich against Newcastle. He always comes running in saying ‘daddy has just scored!’
“I was wary of going public about my addiction at the time because it is quite embarrassing, but it was the right thing to do and I think I’m now reaping the benefit from it.”