Date: 7th January 2006 at 11:43am
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Michael Chopra has just six months remaining on his contract, and if the truth was told, he has been preparing himself for a move. But has Michael Owen’s injury given Chopra one final throw of the dice to save his Newcastle career?

Chopra: ‘Nobody wants to see anyone get injured and it was particularly sad to see Michael suffer like he did. I’ve learned so much from being with him in training and, when you’re playing with a world-class player, you can’t help but take things from his game.

‘I’m also a Newcastle fan and I want the club to do well. I’m not just a player – Newcastle has been a part of my life for so long now – and Michael’s injury has undoubtedly been a blow. We had a lot of injuries anyway – we certainly didn’t need another one.

‘But in another way, what has happened to Michael creates an opening for me. Maybe it’s harsh to see things that way, but I’ve been around long enough to know that’s just the way football works. Hopefully it will give me a few games to show what I can do and, at the moment, that’s exactly what I need.

‘This is a big chance for me and, with my contract up at the end of the season, I suppose it could be my last chance to show Newcastle what I can do,’ said a player who can expect to receive offers from a host of Championship clubs should he finally accept he needs to leave his native Tyneside. We’ve got a few injuries at the moment and, hopefully, that will mean I get a game in the cup. I want to make an impression again.

‘My future is up to the manager. I’ve got five or six months left and I know there are clubs out there who are watching me. If I can’t stay here, which I want to, I know there is interest from elsewhere.’