'When I play I need to perform... hopefully this is just the start for me' - Bishop on his impressive Exeter display
PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 January 2020
Teddy Bishop hopes his impressive return to action is 'just the start' as the midfielder targets a big second half of the season.
The 23-year-old's performance in Ipswich's EFL Trophy defeat at Exeter was the silver lining to a hugely disappointing afternoon for the Blues as they ultimately lost 2-1, in what was his first start following a five-month lay-off with a knee injury.
Bishop played with confidence as he looked to get on the ball and run at the Exeter defence at every opportunity during his 75 minutes on the field, with the academy product now hoping it's the start of things to come.
"I've felt really good since I've been back training, no niggles, nothing," Bishop said.
"I've done a lot of hard work and it's been really tough for the last few months but that should stand me in good stead.
"I said to myself before the game that I wanted to get on the ball and try to make things happen, which is what I always try to do, and I started quite well and got on the ball before dying off a little bit but then I got back on it in the second half and I think my performance was pretty good.
"When you come back from injury you can't tiptoe around and try to avoid getting injured again because, if you get injured again you get injured again. You just have to go for it and you have to play to 100 per cent.
"It's obviously up to the manager and we'll see how I recover in the next couple of days in training but I'll be ready to go for selection, given it's on the bench or from the start.
"When I play I need to perform, I know that, and hopefully this is just the start for me."
Bishop has faced some dark times with injuries over the last few seasons, which have restricted him to just 23 league starts in five campaigns since breaking into the senior side in 2014/15.
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Much of his struggles have been due to recurring hamstring injuries but Bishop was able to remain positive during his most recent time out due to the freak nature of the twisted knee he suffered at the pre-season Interwetten Cup in Germany.
"It would have been tougher for me had it been a recurring injury like a hamstring, but the thing that's got me through is the fact I slipped," Bishop said. "It could have happened to anyone. I've never had a knee injury before or any problems there.
"It was tough at the start but I said to myself 'you've still got half a season to play' and that's what I need to do now.
"I couldn't believe it when it happened out in Germany. I came back from the off-season really fit and I felt like I was flying, so for that to happen it felt like 'oh, this is just my luck.
"You can't dwell on it too long though because you need to knuckle down, get on with your rehab and carry on."
On the EFL Trophy exit, which came thanks to former Blue Lee Martin's late winner, Bishop said: "We've said right from the start that we wanted to win the competition and we wanted to go to Wembley. We felt like it was a really good opportunity.
"It's very disappointing but we now just need to focus on the league.
"We want to win every game we play so it's a bit flat in the dressing room after that but we have characters in there so we'll pick it up and be ready to go again at the weekend after a good week's training.
"I thought our second half performance didn't deserve to lose so to do that with the goal at the end there was gutting.
"We missed a few chances but that's been the story of the last couple of months or so, so we need to get back to being clinical like we were at the start of the season and start winning games again."