Lambert on the chances of Sears and Bishop starting at Blackpool and whether Vincent-Young is ready to go
PUBLISHED: 08:50 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:27 28 February 2020
Paul Lambert believes Freddie Sears and Teddy Bishop are ready to start games for Ipswich Town.
The duo are yet to make league starts this season after both recovering from knee injuries, but could come into the side at Blackpool this weekend as Lambert deals with a striker shortage which sees James Norwood out injured and Kayden Jackson suspended.
The Town boss admitted he would be happy to play both Sears and Bishop from the start of the game at Bloomfield Road but is unsure whether or not they have the ability to play for 90 minutes given how long they've spent on the sidelines.
"The two of them have done great to get back to where they are," Lambert said.
"Freddie was brilliant for us when we first came in, before he got the injury with his knee, then Bish has a big talent but has been up-and-down with injuries. You have to play for people to recognise how good you can be.
"If we can keep them fit then they're not too far away, which is important because we need them to be fit and healthy for the remainder of it.
"Freddie's in a really good place and Bish, because he's been a bit stop-start, will hopefully be ok.
"I don't know if they are ready for 90 minutes but they are ready to start."
Sears was out for nearly a year after suffering a knee ligament injury at Norwich last February, while Bishop suffered his knee injury in Germany during pre-season and didn't return until New Year's Day.
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While Lambert is keen to have both involved, he stressed he would not risk either player if he wasn't convinced they are ready to go.
"I wouldn't take a risk with somebody's healthy because that's unfair to the player and the club," he said. "I never have and I never will.
"We'll speak to the lads and see how they are. If the guys are fit, they tell me they're fit and they feel good, then we'll see.
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"The thing for me will be when Freddie gets a right good tackle on him and he bounces up and then goes again, then I'll think he's definitely there. That injury (cruciate knee ligament) is a bad, bad injury.
"So far he's had little knocks but not a real crunching one where you think 'he's going to have to get back up from that. That will always be the one he's probably waiting for himself."
Speaking last week, Lambert didn't rule out the possibility of Kane Vincent-Young returning to the side following a four-month lay-off with a groin problem, but despite the wing-back making good progress he doesn't believe he's quite ready to go.
"He's on the grass with Danny (Rowe) and the two of them are doing really well," Lambert said.
"They're kicking balls and the good thing with Kane is that he's a naturally fit lad. His game time will be way down but he's naturally fit, so kicking the ball is a bonus.
"He's in a good place so we'll monitor him as well. Tomorrow is probably a bit early for him but we're really happy with how he's progressing."
Flynn Downes is fit to play after appearing to tweak his groin during the second half of last weekend's defeat to Oxford United at Portman Road.
"I think he just slipped in the middle of the pitch, he's ok," Lambert said.
"There are one or two little knocks but we'll assess them this morning to see how they are."