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Bishop: I Can't Wait to Start, It's What I Need Now
Friday, 28th Feb 2020 10:46

Fit-again Teddy Bishop could make his first League One start at Blackpool tomorrow as Town seek to revive their promotion challenge after a run of just four wins in 18 league fixtures that has seen them drop down to ninth place in the table.

With just 11 games left to play, time is rapidly running out for Paul Lambert’s men and they are not helped that strike pair James Norwood and Kayden Jackson, who have shared 22 league goals this season, will be both be absent through injury and suspension respectively.

That gives Lambert a selection dilemma and both Bishop and another long-term absentee, Freddie Sears, are in contention for attacking places in the side at Bloomfield Road against a Blackpool team also struggling for form with just two wins in their last 13 league games.

If 23-year-old Bishop is in the starting line-up it will be his 50th senior start for the club, a career landmark he looked like reaching comfortably while still a teenager, given that his debut took place in August 2014 just a month after he turned 17.

Bishop impressed straight away, so much so that it wasn’t long before Premier League scouts were flocking to Portman Road to see him in action and it was even reported that Arsenal had enquired about the availability of a player rated then in the £10 million price category.

That all seems a long time ago for the Cambridge-born youngster, who first joined the club’s academy set-up when he was a mere seven years old and managed to rack up 36 appearances in a debut season that coincided with Town reaching the Championship play-offs under then boss Mick McCarthy.

Asked if he was 100 per cent fit, Bishop replied: “Yes, I’m ready to go now. I’ve been training for about three months and I had a week-long blip where I had some scar tissue in my knee.

“But that’s normal with the sort of injury I had and I’m over that. I only missed a week and now I’m back, ready to go.

“Apart from the scar tissue there have been no problems and I had a really good rehab with no pain. Normally you experience the scar tissue when you’re in rehab but I didn’t have it so I got back training.

"I felt it a little bit in my knee, so the best thing to do was to come out for a week and get it sorted, and now I feel really good.

“Freddie’s situation is similar to my own. He’s done enough training and just needs to play games. He’s had a few minutes here and there but you can’t quite get that match sharpness until you’ve played a few games.

“I think he’s in the same boat as I am where he wants to start playing now.”

Asked about the possibility of playing as a makeshift striker, Bishop added: “I’m itching to start, in fact I can’t wait and it’s what I need now. I’ve done enough training and I need to start games.

“When I was growing up I played further forward and I dropped back into midfield under Mick. I do prefer it higher up the pitch because I think I can cause more damage up there.”

Bishop’s only first team start this season was in the 2-1 defeat at Exeter in the leasing-com Trophy and he admitted: “After I played at Exeter I thought my first start in the league would come quite quickly.

“But Judgey did really well and came into a good bit of form. He’s done really well in the last couple of months so I’ve just had to be patient.

“All the time I was waiting I was getting fitter and fitter and I think I’m ready now.

“Since the turn of the year we went four unbeaten or something like that and were really positive, but we’ve had a couple of bad results.

“If you look at the game against Oxford on Saturday we shouldn’t have lost it. We had lots of chances in the first half and they only had the one but they took it.

“I think we have been a bit unlucky in that sense but this game is ruthless and you have to take your chances, which is how you win games.”

With 45 goals to their credit so far Town are one of the lowest-scoring teams in the top half of League One – only third-placed Wycombe have scored fewer with 44 – and Bishop was asked if that was reflected in the team’s daily training sessions.

He said: “Against Burton recently we scored one and went on to get four so it’s not as if we can’t do it. We put a lot of the focus in training on our finishing and we have got good finishers at the club.

“It’s just hasn’t happened for us over the last couple of months but I’m sure the boys will put that right.”

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muhrensleftfoot added 11:02 - Feb 28
I don't see it as either Bishop or Sears playing. They should both be in the side tomorrow. Freddie in for Jackson, and Bishop for Judge. How on earth Judge keeps his place, I really don't understand. One good performance this season - against Burton. Otherwise he's done little to impress. A fit Teddy Bishop should be 1st choice always. And give Dozzell another chance in place of the very average Nolan

Pecker added 11:14 - Feb 28
It is what we need as well. Please find your old form and get us at least to the play-offs.

JewellintheTown added 12:56 - Feb 28
You cant argue with a body part that breaks or and injury or surgery that wont physically let you do something, but I do wonder mentally how many times players are a bit over cautious or soft in just getting stuck back into things.
There's high injury risk in football life, but you take that gamble if you REALLY want to achieve the best standard you can perform at.
Players say the right things but sometimes I wonder what the manager sees that doesn't convince them they're ready or hungry enough to be given that chance.
Its easy to judge as a fan, I know, especially if you're not the manager who sees them day in/ out in training and conversation so just have to trust when he's ready to return to the manager, not just says he wants to.
Not sure I'm trusting Lambert at the moment though or Bish.

SamWhiteUK added 15:50 - Feb 28
"Judgey came into a good bit of form"

Did he? Must have missed that. When was that then?

ITFCsince73 added 19:54 - Feb 28
Bish is now fit and raring to go.....we’ve heard that a dozen times over 3 years.
Maybe now he means it?

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