‘I do prefer it higher up the pitch – I can cause more damage there’ – Bishop ready to fill striker void for Town
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town midfielder Teddy Bishop says he is ready to fill a forward void during a crunch week.
With James Norwood out until April following groin surgery and Kayden Jackson starting a three-game ban, Blues boss Paul Lambert has just Will Keane and Freddie Sears as available senior strikers going into a crucial set of games against Blackpool (away, tomorrow), Fleetwood (home, Tuesday) and Coventry (home, next Saturday).
"I'm ready to go now," insisted the 23-year-old, who has played 167 competitive minutes since making his comeback at Wycombe on New Year's Day, five-and-a-half months on from suffering a medial knee ligament injury during a pre-season game in Germany.
"I've been training for about three months, I had a week blip where I had a bit of scar tissue in my knee, but that's normal with the sort of injury that I had. I only missed a week, now I'm back and I'm ready to go.
"I had a really good rehab actually. I didn't really have any pain. Normally you experience that scar tissue when you're rehabbing, but I didn't have it. I got back training, felt it a little bit in my knee, so the best thing to do was come out for a week, get it sorted and now I feel all good."
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Asked if he was ready for his first league start, possibly as a makeshift forward, Bishop said: "Yeah, I can't wait. That's what I need now. I've done enough training. I just need to start games.
"Growing up I played further forward. I dropped back into midfield under Mick (McCarthy) and played that role, but I do prefer it higher up the pitch. I think I cause more damage up there."
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He continued: "After I played at Exeter (in the EFL Trophy) I thought my start would come quite quickly but Judgey came into a really good bit of form. I just had to be patient. All the time I've been getting fitter and fitter. I think I'm ready now.
"It's been very frustrating few years for me with injuries but I'm still confident in my ability. I'm not young, but I'm not old either. I'm 23 years old and have got a lot of football ahead of me. Hopefully I am over all those injuries now.
"The hamstring hasn't been a problem at all since the last surgery on it. That was the problem for a few years really. It was all to do with my body and how I moved. That all got corrected and things have been good since then. It was very complicated, it wasn't just one thing that was causing it, but they've all been addressed now and I feel good.
"I know what I can do and what I can bring to this. The manager does tell you to go out and express yourself and that's obviously something I like. I know I gained his trust last year. Hopefully I can do that again this year.
"The season may end a bit quick for me, similar to last year. Hopefully I can play as many games as I can.
"I maybe thought about a loan move a couple of years ago when I wasn't in this team, but I then got back in the team. I obviously love this club and like playing football here. That's my aim now, to get back ion this team."
With Town having slipped from first to ninth in the League One table in little more than a month, it's looking like at least six wins are required from the final 11 matches if a top-six spot is going to be secured.
Bishop said: "Since the turn of the year we went four unbeaten and we were really positive, then we had a couple of bad results. You look at the game on Saturday (1-0 home loss to Oxford), we shouldn't have lost that game. We had lots of chances in the first half, they had one chance and took it. We have been a bit unlucky in that sense, but this game is ruthless and you have to take your chances. That's how you win games.
"It's like if we score one we go on to get four. We do a lot of finishing in training and we have got good finishers at the club it just hasn't happened for us over the last couple of months. I'm sure the boys will put that right."
He continued: "It's a big week coming up for us, we need to start picking up some results. We're playing teams around us so we can take some points off of them. Do that and we should be in a good position.
"Fleetwood are on a really good run and that's what we need to do now. Anyone can do it. If we can put a few good results together, let's see where it takes us. That's what we'll try and do.
"The record against the leading sides is something that has killed us a little bit this season, we're aware of that, but we've also got a chance to put it right. We've still got to play Portsmouth, Coventry and Fleetwood. We need to take points off of them."
Asked if a top two finish was now out of reach, Bishop said: "I'm not sure. Is it nine points the gap? We've got 11 games left. Win as many of them as we can and let's see what happens. We just have to take it game by game now and see where we end up. We know what we're capable of and we can definitely put a very good run together.
"We know the importance of getting back in the Championship. We want to be back in the Premier League ideally, because that's where this club belongs. We'll do all we can in the next 11 games to get up."