Ex-Newcastle United man reveals how he 'changed' Sunderland fans' views after £5m transfer deal

Michael Chopra has revealed how he 'changed' Sunderland fans' minds about him after signing for the club.
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Michael Chopra has revealed how he 'changed' Sunderland fans' minds about him after signing for the club.

Chopra came through the ranks at his boyhood club Newcastle United and made 20 appearances in all competitions before joining Cardiff City.

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After 22 goals for the Welsh side in the Championship, Chopra was bought by Sunderland for a deal worth around £5million after the Black Cats' promotion to the Premier League in 2007.

"I had great experiences with all the clubs I played for," said Chopra to Tribal Football. "At Newcastle, it was my boyhood club and I realised the dream to play with my idol Alan Shearer.

"At Sunderland, it was much tougher due to the fact I was a Newcastle fan, but I went there as Roy Keane was the manager and I had my dream of wanting to be coached by him."

Chopra admitted he was unsure how Sunderland fans would take to him but says those concerns were eased after the striker's start to the 2007-08 Premier League season.

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"Yes, it's tough for a Newcastle boy to go and play for Sunderland. A lot of fans of Sunderland didn't want me at the club - but that soon changed!

"In our first game of the season against Tottenham, I scored the winner and soon the Sunderland fans understood that they should put the Newcastle thing behind them and concentrate on me being a footballer and trying to do well for them.

"Then in the second game, I scored! So we played two games and I scored twice. Football has its ups and downs, but if you do well on the pitch of course the fans will judge you differently and the Sunderland fans did just that."

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