'There are little changes everywhere... we need to buy into that' - Bishop on Cook's impact at Town
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Teddy Bishop has admitted the Ipswich Town players are still getting used to Paul Cook’s way of playing, but is hopeful a full week on the training ground will help get the squad up to speed.
It’s been a whirlwind start to Cook’s reign, with the club playing six games in 19 days since his appointment and the new boss’s time on the training ground limited to just a handful of sessions, due to the relentless match schedule and hundreds of miles on the road.
Bishop has played in all six of those games, five under Cook and one under caretaker Matt Gill, with the latest coming in the 2-1 defeat at Portsmouth as the Blues let a lead slip at Fratton Park.
Cook will now get a full week of training for the first time, heading into next weekend’s trip to Wigan, with Bishop keen to make the most of it.
“It’s really disappointing, especially because they weren’t really in the game for the first 40 minutes or so,” Bishop said of the Portsmouth loss.. “That’s really tough to take.
“We conceded a soft goal just before half-time and then, in the second-half, it just wasn’t good enough. A game is 90 minutes so to play for 40 minutes isn’t really good enough.
“Everyone’s still getting to know the way the manager likes to play and I thought we showed that in the first half.
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“There are definitely adjustments. The gaffer’s come in and he’s not tried to shove too much information on everyone but there are little changes everywhere. We need to buy into that. The game has changed a little bit but the more we work on the training ground the more it will get better.”
When asked specifically how his central midfield role has changed since the arrival of Cook, Bishop said: “It’s maybe playing with a bit more discipline.
“When you play with a three in midfield there’s more licence to get forward and join the attack, whereas if you’re playing with two sitters you need to be more disciplined. It’s about screening and protecting and we need to find a balance now.
“We haven’t had many training sessions with the gaffer. When you play Saturday-Tuesday you maybe get one session in a week so he hasn’t been able to get all his ideas across yet and we haven’t been able to learn everything he wants from us. The more training we can do the better.
“He’s told us we’re in on Monday to work hard. We’ll have a good week of training next week for the first time under the new manager which will certainly help.
“He’s enthusiastic and that’s what we need. We need someone who’s going to back us and that’s what he’s done so far which is very good.”
Bishop has played much of his football in a deep midfield role under Cook, while operating as a No.10 in the 1-1 draw with Lincoln.
“I think I did ok there and he’s maybe still trying to find the position he sees me best in,” the academy product said.
“Growing up that’s where I played a lot but when you’re young you’re running about like a headless chicken. It’s a role I enjoy but, if I’m going to play there more regularly, I would need to be coached how to play it because it’s not an easy position.”
Bishop is on a long list of Town players whose contracts expire at the end of the season, adding an extra incentive to play a leading role in the Blues’ promotion push given they are playing for their futures.
“There’s a lot of pressure but that comes with playing for such a big club like Ipswich Town,” Bishop said.
“Everyone feels that but we need to step up. I’ve played a lot of minutes this season, which has been a real positive for me, so I need to take that into the last 11 games of the season and keep going.
“We’ve got a good squad and a big squad. The gaffer will need to decide who he wants to keep so we’ll see what happens.
“We can definitely still get promoted this season, but we need to start winning games. Ultimately we can’t get three or four down the line and run out of games. We need to pick it up and we need to start doing that next week.”