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Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

Chopra says problems 'behind him'

Longer interview: Michael Chopra

Michael Chopra, who returns to Cardiff on loan from Sunderland, says the support of manager Dave Jones is the biggest factor in his decision to move.

And he thinks the switch will help him put his off-field problems in the past.

The 24-year-old striker, who joined Sunderland for 5m in 2007, was reported to have gone into rehab in August to tackle "personal issues".

"The (Cardiff) manager...is willing to help me even if I have to stay at his house," Chopra said on Friday.

The former Newcastle player was believed to have received treatment at the Sporting Chance Clinic in Hampshire, set up by former Arsenal and England defender Tony Adams who had struggled with alcoholism for much of his career.

"I have had my problems and I have put them all behind me," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"I went to London for a week to sort everything out and things are back on track now.

"But there's still a long way to go and hopefully I can continue to keep doing what I'm doing."

Chopra had been an immediate hit in south Wales after joining Cardiff on a free transfer from Newcastle United in time for the 2006/7 season.

606: DEBATE
oldninianpark - Peter Ridsdales fish

The striker's 22 goals that season in the Championship saw a swift return to the north east, with Sunderland paying 5m for Chopra in July 2007.

Chopra managed six goals in 33 Premier League appearances in the 2007/8 season, but has played in just five league games so far this term and scored two goals.

Ridsdale revealed Sunderland were at first reluctant to allow Chopra out on loan, while rival interest from Queens Park Rangers further complicated matters.

Chopra's first game on his return to Cardiff will be against QPR with the irony that he was sent off after the final whistle last time he played for Cardiff against them.

"No doubt I'll get a bit of stick off the fans after getting sent off and also turning them down."



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see also
QPR v Cardiff
07 Nov 08 |  Championship
QPR 1-0 Cardiff
21 Apr 07 |  Championship
BBC Sport Wales coverage
28 Oct 08 |  Wales


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