Bishop: I've Not Felt This Sharp Since the Play-Off Season
Monday, 11th Mar 2019 15:52
Fit-again Teddy Bishop has opened up about an injury-plagued few years and admitted there was a time when he feared his career could end almost before it had got going.
Bishop broke into the first team in August 2014, having only turned 18 the previous month, and his progress was so rapid that he was soon being linked with a big-money move to some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs as he clocked up 36 appearances in a season when he helped Town reach the Championship play-offs.
The transfer speculation soon ended, however, when he was sidelined for long spells, adding only another 24 senior outings in the three campaigns that followed, and it is only now that he feels his problems are finally behind him.
Bishop said: “I think you always worry when you’ve been out so long. I knew I would be able to play again but I didn’t know whether I’d be as good as I wanted to be.
“Sometimes your form can go and your body can’t move as quickly as you want it to, but luckily enough I feel quicker now than I’ve ever felt before in my career.
“When you are injured for a long time it can be difficult to stay focused on your career.
“That is tough, especially when it’s such a long period of time that you are out. That’s why you have your family and friends, to keep you motivated.
“I was still coming into the club every day, so it wasn’t as if I was losing contact with anyone, but you have to get your head down and while it can be really tough you know you have to get through it.
“It really hurts when you are injured and not able to play. You’re a footballer and all you want to do is play, so when you’re getting stick from here and there for being injured it hurts even more. You just want to be out there helping the boys.”
Bishop feels sympathy for crocked colleagues Tom Adeyemi and Emyr Huws, who have managed just 10 league appearances between them since joining the club in 2017.
“I feel for both of them because they’ve been out a long time,” he added. “But they’re both back outside again, which is really positive for us.
“They are both great players and obviously the fans like them because when they’ve played they’ve done really well. Like me they have been unfortunate but I hope they are soon back playing again.
“I’m still getting back to it myself but I haven’t missed any training, although I do get some aches and pains.
“Because I’m the player I am I get fouled a lot and a lot of it goes unnoticed. I pick up niggles here and there because I’m getting kicked all the time but I feel the best I’ve felt in probably four years.
“I feel like my sharpness is the same as it was in the play-off year, the first year I broke through. I haven’t felt this sharp since then so that’s really positive for me.”
Bishop’s surging runs from midfield into the box have been a feature of his play this season and when asked if he had modelled his game on anyone in particular he replied: “When I was a kid I used to like Luka Modric but as he’s got older he doesn’t do a lot of forward running any more. I like to get into the box and I know I need to add goals to my game.”
The Cambridge-born midfielder’s first – and so far only – senior goal came in November 2014 when he netted Town’s first equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.
“The second one has been a long time coming, hasn’t it?” he said, “but it will come and I’ve a feeling it will come soon.
“I’ve had a few chances in the last few games but I’d be a lot more worried if I wasn’t getting into the box and having chances.
“I’ll continue to get on the ball and look to drive forward, always being aware of who’s around me.”
Bishop has no problem with people who claimed he was injury prone, adding: “While it’s not nice to be labelled injury prone – it hurts to be honest – I can’t blame people for saying that about me when I’ve been out for three years. It is what it is and I can’t deny I’ve been injury prone.
“But with the set-up I’ve got now I don’t deserve that label any more. I’ve trained for four or five months, I’ve waited for my turn to play and I’ve played two 90 minutes in a short space of time. I’m ready now and I just want to keep playing more and more games.
“The club were very patient with me and I’ve seen a lot of medical people looking for answers.
“The difference now is that I’ve got a regime in place where I’m still doing my gym work as well as training, whereas before I might have got back to training and it was hard to do both because it placed so much strain on the body. Now I’ve got a good balance so I feel good.”
Bishop also made it clear he doesn’t take too kindly to the constant criticism aimed at ex-manager Mick McCarthy from some people who felt he only used him sparingly because he wasn’t necessarily his cup of tea.
“I think that’s unfair criticism of Mick because whenever I was fit – fully fit – he played me and it was only when I’d picked up an injury that I wasn’t playing,” said Bishop.
“He was also quite patient with me because he only put me in the team when he thought I was ready. Unfortunately I kept picking up injuries.
“Mick was a really good manager, who gave me my debut, always looked after me and was always very positive with me, so I don’t have a bad word to say about him.”
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