Chopra backs Bluebirds to end Magpies run
MICHAEL CHOPRA believes Cardiff City are playing a more attractive brand of football than Newcastle this season and have the firepower to ruin the Magpies unbeaten home record tomorrow night. After watching last Saturday's televised encounter at Leicester City, the product of Newcastle's youth system declared himself unimpressed by his former side and is confident that fourth-placed Bluebirds can secure victory at St James' Park. Chopra endured a barren 13-match spell without finding the back of the net this season but has regained his goalscoring touch in time to upset Newcastle's title challenge. The 26-year-old wore Sunderland colours in his most recent appearance in front of his hometown crowd ensuring he received a very hostile reception. And his belligerent comments prior to tomorrow's encounter with his former club should guarantee him a similarly frosty welcome. I can't wait, declared the striker, who netted once during his 21-game spell with Newcastle. This is one of the matches I have been looking out for since the fixtures came out. Thankfully, for me, I'm starting to score goals at the right time. The reception I got at Newcastle last season was bad. It was a derby and I was playing for Sunderland. I knew when I went to Sunderland I would get a reception like that at Newcastle. Hopefully, Friday won't be as bad, but I'll still get stick. I saw Newcastle play Leicester on television on Saturday and they didn't seem as good a team as they used to be. We're playing some good stuff at the moment, so hopefully we can go up there and put up a fight. Newcastle have got a good chance of winning the league they brought in six players during the transfer window, so they're really going for it. But the way we are playing at the moment, this is the best opportunity we will have to be the first team to beat them at home. Chopra failed to establish himself as a top flight marksman with either Newcastle or Sunderland but his ability at Championship level is unquestionable. His return to form has prompted him to claim that he'll end the season as the division's leading marksman and in the process hit his preseason target of 30 goals. Our team is full of goalscorers. For some reason we seem to play better against the top teams and take points off them, said Chopra, who clashed with a Newcastle fan when watching his former side beat Crystal Palace at St James' Park last month. We went to West Brom and won comfortably and we did the same at Middlesbrough so the lads are full of confidence. We're in good form and looking forward to Newcastle I watch Newcastle a lot. When the manager gives me time off I go home I'll watch them play. Obviously I take an interest in the club because it's where I was brought up. My mates are all Newcastle fans. But if I'm one on one with the keeper on Friday, I'll stick it in the back of the net. In the meantime new recruits Mike Williamson and Wayne Routledge have admitted they were keen to swap clubs that are in turmoil for the relative calm of St James' Park. Williamson quit troubled Portsmouth while Routledge was happy to wave goodbye to QPR who've employed six managers and a clutch of caretaker bosses in the past two years. Routledge said: This feels like a settled club and that is always important. I know how distracting off field things can be and it's nice to put that to one side and just get down to hard work on the training pitch. Williamson echoed the view of his new team-mate. You want stability in your life on and off the field. Personally I just wanted to be playing some players are the opposite of that, they'll pick up the pay check and don't care about playing. I just want to play as many games as possible, said the defender. It was difficult at Portsmouth but I hope they stabilise and stay up.
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