Chopra goes back to Ninian Park in search of scoring touch

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The Independent Online

Sunderland's Michael Chopra has returned to Cardiff on loan in a bid to rediscover his touch in front of goal. The 24-year-old has managed only six senior appearances for the Black Cats this season, five of them as a substitute, although he made a memorable impact from the bench with a match-winning double against Middlesbrough in September.

Chopra will spend the next two months at Ninian Park after seeing his chances of forcing his way into the Sunderland side reduced further by Kenwyne Jones' return from injury. Chopra scored 22 goals in 42 league appearances for Cardiff and cost Sunderland £5m in July 2007, but has scored just six times in 33 appearances.

However, he was played out of position in midfield for much of last season and has had to contend with problems off the field this year.

Speaking after the Middlesbrough game, Chopra said: "He [manager Roy Keane] has brought some top-class players in and the only way you are going to get better is to learn from them and to play with them. I know if I want to be part of this football club and part of a team that's going forward, I have got to be scoring goals. That's the only way I can get into the team."

Cardiff, who currently lie sixth in the Championship, face QPR at Loftus Road tomorrow and manager Dave Jones will hope Chopra's firepower can give their promotion push real impetus with Ross McCormack and Jay Bothroyd both injured.

Keane has had few qualms about sending out members of his squad on loan. Chopra is one of seven Sunderland players currently away from Wearside on temporary deals, along with Ross Wallace, Graham Kavanagh, Carlos Edwards, Greg Halford, Roy O'Donovan and Paul McShane, while defender Russell Anderson is recovering from a serious knee injury picked up during his spell with Burnley.

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