Michael Chopra wanted out of Ipswich Town in January

Michael Chopra

Michael Chopra - Credit: Archant

IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy says he has been delighted with Michael Chopra’s response after he told the striker he could not leave the club in January.

The Blues front man has had a string of well-publicised off-the-field problems and found himself well down the pecking order not so long ago.

He came off the bench to score a sublime winner against Blackpool last month though and has impressed in the three starts which have followed.

“Chops had his nose put out of joint, but he’s come back in and arguably been our best player lately,” said McCarthy.

“I told him he wasn’t going to go out on loan (in January), when I think he quite fancied it, and he knuckled down and got on with it. Consequently he’s got back in the team, a bit like Jay (Emmanuel-Thomas) on Saturday.

“I think there was some real negative stuff surrounding him prior to me coming here. I know he wanted to play, but he didn’t train like it.

“He was alright, but recently the intensity of his training and his attitude has been excellent.”

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He added: “We’ve been trying to find a really good pairing up front. If we have David (McGoldrick) and Chops we have not as much power and height, but we have two very technically-gifted players. It’s about moving people around. I thought they played well together on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy says he would be interested in signing Daryl Murphy on a permanent basis this summer.

The striker is in his third loan spell at the club and is out-of-contract at Celtic this summer.

“I like Daryl,” said the Blues boss. “I signed him for Sunderland a long time ago and if something can be done I’ll talk to him.

“Listen, I’m not talking to anyone at the moment though. Let’s stay up and then we’ll have discussions. I’ve told everyone the same.”

Ipswich Town take on Nottingham Forest at The City Ground tonight. For full match preview, see today’s EADT and Ipswich Star. Follow @Stuart_Watson and @chrisbramms on Twitter for live match updates.

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