Lambert to continue to protect Bishop after ‘absolutely ridiculous’ spell out
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Paul Lambert will continue to ‘protect’ talented midfielder Teddy Bishop as the youngster strives for fitness following a long injury lay-off.
Bishop’s start at Nottingham Forest a fortnight ago was his first since Boxing Day 2017, when he suffered a hamstring injury which required surgery and ultimately ended his season.
Bishop has made just 11 league starts over the last four seasons and is approaching the final six months of his contract, but played 90 minutes for the Under 23s on Monday and scored twice in a 3-3 draw with QPR.
Lambert sees a bright future for the 22-year-old but intends to tread carefully with him.
“The Forest game was his first game in a long time from the start, which is absolutely ridiculous,” Lambert said.
“You can’t expect a young kid to go into games of magnitude one after the other after so long out. I also don’t want him to break down, which is important, because for me and for himself we can’t afford for that to happen again.
“We have to protect him a little bit but Bish is going to be a good player but he has to learn the game. He plays a little off the cuff, that’s the way he plays.
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“One game in two years is an incredibly low ratio and it’s not normal.
“We threw him in at Forest because I had to see him play in a big game and also because that level, after two years out, is a big jump for him.”
Bishop was one of a number of senior players to play in the Blues’ Under 23s this week, along with Janoi Donacien, Andre Dozzell and Toto Nsiala, but Lambert insists such games do little to persuade him when it comes to evaluating players.
“Under 23 football will never really change my mind on a player because all it is (for senior players) is putting a team together and having a game,” he said.
“I’ve never really judged many people on it because it’s not massively competitive and I’ll judge it by my own eye on training, because I know what the lads can do.
“Under 23 level is difficult for experienced lads to play but I’ll never judge anyone by it.”
Regarding Emyr Huws, sidelined with knee trouble and Tom Adeyemi, who has had surgery on his Achilles, Lambert said: “Huws is doing well and hopefully next week he might be with Jim (Henry) the fitness guy,” he said. “Touch wood he’s been quite good.
“Tom’s still on schedule to start after the new year. The two of them lads are doing well.”
A sickness buy meant Kayden Jackson and Grant Ward missed Saturday’s defeat at Stoke, but they are over their troubles. However, a number of other players have been ill this week.
“They’re OK now,” manager Paul Lambert said of Ward and Jackson. “Danny Rowe’s had it, Janoi’s had it, so there’s been a little bug going around but the latter two came in and did a little bit and Wardy and Kayden have got over it.”