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Ready, Teddy, go! – ‘Forgotten man’ Bishop ready to rediscover his form of old

PUBLISHED: 17:12 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:15 27 November 2017

Teddy Bishop came on as a 76th minute substitute at Aston Villa on Saturday. Photo: Pagepix

Teddy Bishop came on as a 76th minute substitute at Aston Villa on Saturday. Photo: Pagepix

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Self-titled ‘forgotten man’ Teddy Bishop believes he can rediscover his impressive form of old following a long-awaited return to action.

The twinkle-toed midfielder burst on the scene as an 18-year-old back in the summer of 2014 and went on to play a key role as the Blues secured their first Championship play-off place in a decade.

All the top Premier League clubs were tracking the Cambridge-born academy graduate’s progress at that time, but a host of muscle injuries restricted him to just nine starts and 15 substitute appearances over the following two seasons.

Now aged 21, he returned to action with a cameo display in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa – only his fourth senior outing of 2017 – and is likely to have a role to play in tomorrow night’s game at Derby County.

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“I’ve had a lot of comebacks before, but hopefully this one is for good,” said Bishop. “I’ve done a lot of work in the gym and feel stronger than ever.

“It’s been really tough. Mentally it just drains you. You don’t know when you’re going to be back or if you’re ever going to be back. The hardest thing was coming into work every day and watching everyone else go out to train.

“I just thank everyone that stuck by me. I’ve had a little bit of stick, but I try not to read reports of people saying ‘oh he’s injured again’ because it can really affect you.

“You have to remember they are the same people who were saying you were the best thing going, not that long ago.

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“Most of the fans have been really good with me. I’ve had a lot of nice messages saying ‘hope you get well soon’. That was nice because you are almost the forgotten man when you are injured. People just forget about you.

“I’ve had the support of my family and my friends, as well as the support of the gaffer, and that’s what’s important.

“The gaffer made it clear to me that if I’m fully fit then I’m in his plans which has given me the motivation.”

He continued: “I’ve been through a lot for a 21-year-old, but hopefully the experiences that I’ve had will help me in my career.

“I’ve been out for four months now and not played a proper game since May, maybe before that, so it will take a few games to get up to speed. Hopefully I can soon show that form I showed in the play-off season and get back to my best.

“It’s about confidence. I need to build my confidence back up. A clear run in the team now would just help me so much.

“I like to think I bring something different when I drive forwards, but you need confidence to do that.”

Asked what his best position is, he added: “Preferably in the middle, but I don’t think I know my best position yet. In the play-off year I played centre-mid in a 4-4-2 and did well there, but if I’m playing I’m happy. I don’t mind where I play.

“I love to play exciting football. Obviously you can’t always do that, in some games you don’t get the chance, but that’s what I’ll look to do if I get back in the team.”

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Ipswich Town U18 Academy boss Alan Lee is hoping his young charges can keep up the proud Blues tradition of success in youth football, with victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tonight, at Portman Road, 7pm ko.

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