'We can't just throw him into the lions' den' - Lambert on starting Lankester and Bishop
PUBLISHED: 15:04 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:19 27 November 2018
Paul Lambert has hinted he could make changes to his team for tomorrow night's vital clash with Bristol City but has tempered expectations regarding Jack Lankester or Teddy Bishop.
The Scot has kept the same starting XI for each of his three games in charge of the Blues, but with another midweek fixture quickly followed by Saturday’s visit to Nottingham First, he admitted he is considering freshening things up.
Both Lankester and Bishop made an impact off the bench against West Brom on Friday and, while Lambert insisted he does not want to rush the duo, the Ipswich boss did not completely rule out bringing either into his side.
“I think he’s a really talented footballer but he’s only 18,” Lambert said of Lankester.
“We have to nurture him and we can’t just throw him into the lions’ den because you can’t rely on a young kid to dig you out of trouble.
“But he’s very much part of it and he did very well when he came on the other night, unlucky not to score, and he’s a hugely talented footballer.”
On Bishop, whose appearance on Friday was his first in the Championship in nearly a year, Lambert said: “I think everybody’s ready to start and that’s the beauty of the scenario at the minute because training has been really good.
“I can only pick 18 but everybody’s ready. Whoever I play, I trust them, and that’s great for any manager.”
He continued, when asked if Bishop is fit enough to play 60 minutes: “Not in game-time. He’s doing really well in training and has broken the back of sustaining training sessions, which is important.
“You’ve got to train the way you play and he’s doing really well at the moment. His time will come, no doubt. He’ll certainly make an impact before the end of the season for sure.”
Ellis Harrison made his return from an ankle injury for the Under 23s at Millwall on Monday, with Lambert impressed with what he’s seen from the Welshman.
The game with Bristol City could come too soon, though, while Myles Kenlock is also battling back from a similar problem.
“I think he (Harrison) can (make a difference) because he’s a powerful lad and he’s chirpy, that’s for sure,” Lambert said.
“I think he’s got something, after seeing the bigger picture of it, but put it this way he doesn’t lack in confidence.
“He’s a nice lad, he’s jovial but you have to see what he can do on the pitch.
“Whether they are ready at the minute is another question but the two lads have been out a long time and are slowly but surely starting to get their fitness back.”