McCarthy: Bish Can Get Back to his 2014/15 Form
Monday, 27th Nov 2017 16:40
Blues boss Mick McCarthy has no doubt that midfielder Teddy Bishop can return to the form he showed in his breakthrough 2014/15 season, despite his injury problems since then.
Bishop, 21, made his league debut in August 2014, coincidentally in the away game at Derby where the Blues are in action tomorrow, having made his senior bow earlier in the week in the League Cup at Crawley.
The Cambridge-born academy product went on to establish himself in the side that season and was watched by Premier League clubs with Arsenal reportedly among those taking most notice of his progress.
However, Bishop missed all but the final month of the next campaign due to a succession of injuries and then had a similarly frustrating 2016/17.
This early months of this season have again been affected by injury with groin surgery keeping him out of action until Saturday, when he came on as a 76th minute sub at Aston Villa.
However, McCarthy is confident he can hit the heights of his first season in senior football.
“If he stays injury free, yes,” he said. “Even on Saturday he got the ball, picked his head up and drifted past a couple and you can just see how quickly he moves and how fluent he is. He sees his pass.
“There’s nothing wrong with his ability, there’s nothing wrong with his pace, he’s not lost any of that, it’s just staying fit, he’s a terrific footballer.
“Once he’s fit, we know what he brings to the party, his ability with the ball, his ability on the ball to go past people, he glides past people and he finds a pass. Just that real technical ability.
“But he’s got great pace as well, Bish, which I’m not sure everybody associates with him. He can go past people and he makes things happen.
“I know Aitor Karanka waxed lyrical about him after the Middlesbrough game down here [in 2014/15], but the Blackpool game up there when he danced past two or three and set the goal up [for Daryl Murphy], that’s the ability he has.”
McCarthy says Bishop has to work on becoming more of an influence on games, on creating and scoring goals, his only senior goal so far having come in the 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in that 2014/15 season.
“He’s got to get in the team and got to stay in the team, it’s not about working harder any more,” he said.
“Listen to the Premier League teams. The first thing David Moyes after went to West Ham, they accuse them of not running around and not covering enough distance as a team.
“I don’t think I could ever accuse Bish of doing that, I just think he’s got to have an influence on games. Doing more with Bish, I think, is creating goals and scoring goals.
“Not just being a nice footballer on the pitch, it’s those two things for me. If that’s the type of player you are, you’ve got to create a score.”
He added: “He feels good at the minute, I think it’s the best he’s felt in two years, probably. Every time I speak to him, he’s good.
“And that’s lovely. It’s lovely for him because whatever we think, whatever I think and the team think and the club and the fans think, think about a young man with such ability who’s not able to use it.
“It’s shocking, it really is, for him not to be able to enjoy having that ability and be able to show what he can do because that’s what we all want to do, play football.”
Town have ended up losing several games this season where there has been little between the sides, Saturday’s defeat at Villa the latest, does McCarthy believe Bishop and Emyr Huws, who has also returned from injury, can make a difference in those situations?
“We’ve had the X-factor on the pitch, if that’s what you want to call it, in terms of the front four. They’ve been scoring the goals,” he reflected.
“I’ve mentioned Callum Connolly before and how well he’s done and that he’s given us a solid base from which to play.
“So, something would have to give, it would have to be somebody else. You’re not going to just have everybody on and you need that solid base.
“Stick all your, so-called, best footballers on and you might get slapped by five or six, you never know. But they can really help us, certainly, the pair of them.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy was delighted with Martyn Waghorn’s set pieces at Villa on Saturday: “Weren’t they fantastic? I just want one of those attackers or defenders to stick their head on it and put it in the net. They were good, I was pleased with them.”
Freddie Sears returned to the starting line-up at Villa but is still to net his first goal of the season and has now gone 19 games without a goal.
“He’s having it tough in front of goal at the minute, he can’t get that goal and perhaps you end up snatching at things and you get frustrated with it,” McCarthy continued.
“He still does all his graft and he does it selflessly. He came on on Wednesday night and he created the chance that got the corner that got the goal but he needs a goal himself.”
Town had no recognised striker on the bench at Villa Park with McCarthy feeling he had options to switch things around with the personnel who started and that U23s regulars Ben Morris and Ben Folami aren’t yet ready for senior football.
“It’s what they would bring if I had to rejig it and do something else,” he said. “I’m not convinced they are. They’re not better than the ones I’ve got on the bench, certainly. Or I could rejig it with the ones I’ve got.”
The Town boss also preferred Kevin Bru to Tristan Nydam and Flynn Downes for a place among his subs on Saturday.
“Both of them have missed out through injury [recently],” he added. “Kevin came in at a time when it was needed and he’d been nowhere near the team and he did really well.
“Every time he’s come on, Kev, he’s really given us something, whether it’s as far back as Burton when he helped calm the game down a bit and we got on the ball. When he started at Cardiff he played really well.
“We ended up with Kevin Bru and Callum Connolly as the two central midfield players [against Preston] and both of them played well. He’s just nudged in front of them for now they’re big games that we’re getting.”
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