McCarthy: Chopra Never at Best For Me
Friday, 8th Nov 2013 06:00
Boss Mick McCarthy says it wasn’t a difficult decision to allow striker Michael Chopra to move on to Saturday’s opponents Blackpool on a free transfer in the summer. The Blues manager says the 29-year-old was never at his best during their time together at Portman Road.
“I think I told everybody I was going to let him go at the end of the season,” McCarthy said. “He knew that but when he came back I gave him the opportunity to get himself right, to be fit and to play.
“But that really didn’t happen, so when Blackpool came in it was a no-brainer for me. Having said that, it’s sod’s law he’ll probably get on the pitch and have a chance, which they always do when I let somebody go.”
Does McCarthy feel he’s currently short of a penalty area predator in the Chopra mould? “I lacked a player like that when he was here.
“Chops has been a really terrific player, he got me a goal at Bolton but I don’t think he was ever at his best, certainly when I saw him.
“And if he had’ve been, and if he’d been the Chops of six years ago, he would have been in my team. For whatever the reasons [he wasn’t], and to be fair he’s gone to Blackpool and he still hasn’t played, not regularly.”
Chopra has made two starts and six sub appearances for the Seasiders and came on in the 77th minute of last Saturday’s 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest.
Meanwhile, McCarthy says there’s been little talk about the 6-0 thrashing in last season’s corresponding fixture a couple of months before he took over as boss.
“Not this week, but it was last year because it was a particularly horrendous trip,” he recalled.
“They went up and stayed in a hotel, got slapped 6-0, then had to go up to Carlisle and got slapped after extra-time. They couldn’t even manage to lose in 90 minutes.
“And then they had to come back all the way down having had two defeats away from home. So yes, I have heard that story once or twice!”
A repeat of last year’s scoreline seems unlikely with McCarthy believing his side has made progress since then.
“We look like a fairly solid team and not that far away when you consider the teams that we’ve played,” he added. “But Blackpool are flying, however, there’s not a lot between any of us.”
Photo: Action Images
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