Stephen Henderson: Michael Chopra is Premier League class

Michael Chopra

Michael Chopra - Credit: Archant

Stephen Henderson hailed Michael Chopra’s Premier League quality after the striker turned from zero to hero at Portman Road on Saturday.

The 29-year-old scored the only goal of the game against Blackpool with a cool finish to clinch a crucial three points for the Blues in their battle against the drop.

The former Newcastle and Cardiff front man has had well-documented off-field problems but put his troubles to one side as he fired Town four points clear of the relegation zone, ahead of tomorrow night’s home clash with promotion-chasers Watford, who themselves won 4-0 at Birmingham at the weekend.

“If you had seen a finish like that in the Premier League then they would have been talking about it all night,” said Blues goalkeeper Henderson.

“It was a world-class finish and I knew he was going to score as soon as he was put through as he does it every day in training.

“He’s a Premier League striker on his day, second-to-none, and I hope he can sort out his personal problems.”

Chopra has been on the periphery of the team since manager Mick McCarthy’s arrival and well-publicised spats with supporters on social networking sites have done little to help his cause.

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He was booed by a minority as he entered the fray at the weekend, but soon had the crowd on their feet with the type of finish that earned him a brief return to the top-flight with Sunderland in 2007.

“Looking at the clubs he has played for, he has had a good career, but he would be the first to say he maybe should have stayed at the top level for longer,” the West Ham loanee added.

“He’s gone through a lot of rubbish but hopefully now he can be the hero that scores the goals to push us up the league.

“He doesn’t help himself at times, but I’m really happy for him and all the lads are buzzing for him.

“We all support him 100 per cent.”