Bishop: We've Still Got a Chance and We'll Keep Going
Monday, 11th Mar 2019 16:36
Teddy Bishop admits relegation for Town would be a huge blow but, like everyone at Portman Road, he is refusing to throw in the towel while there is still a chance, no matter how slim, of pulling clear.
It is a tall order for Paul Lambert and his players because even with Saturday’s point at promotion-chasing West Bromwich Albion they remain 12 points, plus goal difference, from safety with only 10 games left to play, starting with tomorrow’s visit to Bristol City, who are currently seventh in the table and just one point adrift of the play-offs.
Bishop said: “I’ve been here since I was seven and I’ve never seen the club relegated. If it happens it’s going to be really tough but we’re still fighting.
“There are still 10 games to go and that’s 30 points to play for so the boys won’t give up until we’re mathematically down. We’ve still got a chance and we’ll keep going.
“But even if the club was to go down I think things are in place for us to be really strong next year.
“We’ve played well this season but the problem has been in both boxes, conceding sloppy goals and not scoring enough at the other end. That’s not the blame of anyone in particular; it’s the team as a whole.
“I think some of the stuff we’ve played through the thirds has been okay and I think the fans would agree with that.
“They’ve seen some better football this season than they’ve seen in a long time. It’s just about adding it all together and we’ve just got to keep going.”
While Town have struggled, Bishop has at least made huge strides this season following a lengthy spell on the sidelines because of injury.
“What I’ve been through has made me stronger as a person,” he added. “I’m not the type to see giving up as an option – you’ve got to keep going.
“There are going to be bad times in your career and there are going to be good times. I think I’ve dealt well with most of the bad times and now I’m fit again I just want to continue playing as many games as I can.
“I’m mentally stronger too. If I was to pick up a niggle now I know how to deal with it and it won’t worry me as much as it would have done, say, two years ago when I was trying to get back or even last year when I still had problems. I’ll be much stronger.
“The way I see it, I’m in a good position to pass on advice to any young player who finds himself in the situation I was in. I can talk to them because I’ve experienced it myself.
“For example, I talked to Jack [Lankester] after he was ruled out with a back injury. I told him ‘Don’t worry about it, get it right and don’t rush back’.
“He’ll be fine. He’s had a great first season, breaking into the first team the way he did, and he’s a great player.
“These are exciting times for him and the team. I’m not sure if he’ll play again this season but he needs to make sure he’s 100 per cent right before he gets back out there.”
Town boss Paul Lambert has made great play of looking to rebuild the club with a nucleus of top young talent, a policy which excites Bishop. “I got my chance when I was young,” he added, “and I think all the young boys who have come into the side this season have done really well.
“Flynn, Jack, Andre, Tristan and others, it’s really exciting and I can see us linking up very well together.
“I don’t think being an academy graduate brings any extra pressure. The fans have been fantastic this season and I think they like to see homegrown players in the team. I don’t think you get pressure – it’s more support from the fans.
“It makes you feel good and makes you want to go out and do your very best for them.
“There are plenty of players coming through. Our U23 team has a lot of U18 players and they’re flying, top of the league.
“I’ve played in a few of those games and there are some really good young players making good progress. Idris [El Mizouni] is a very good player with a really good future ahead of him.
“We’ve always had a really good academy here and there are a number of good players developing to the point where they could be in the first team next season.”
Looking to the future, Bishop is keen to make the most of pre-season training when the Town players report back in the summer.
“That would be game-changing for me because I haven’t had a proper pre-season in there years,” he said.
“It’s massive for any player because if you miss it you are always playing catch-up for the rest of the year, trying to regain the fitness that you have lost in the summer.
“I need to stay fit between now and the end of the season and then come back for the pre-season training when it will do me the world of good.
“I’m probably not quite 100 per cent right even now. I think I’ve got better – fitter and stronger – with every game I’ve played but if I can have a normal pre-season I’ll be all the better for it.”
Meanwhile, Bishop reflected on a weekend in which several unsavoury incidents occurred, the worst of which was viewed by millions on television as a Birmingham fan ran on to the pitch to attack Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish during the second city derby.
He said: “It’s scary because you never know when you could be targeted. They need to be really hard on anyone doing that sort of thing because we need a real deterrent to stop people doing it in the future.
“Players’ safety is at risk, although I’m trying not to think about it like that. It was bad, though, and it could have been a lot worse.
“The authorities need to look into it and I’m sure there will be some changes made to prevent it happening again.”
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