Bishop back, while Collins will face late fitness test - Ipswich Town team news ahead of Reading visit
PUBLISHED: 12:16 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:19 01 March 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Teddy Bishop is available again for Ipswich Town, while James Collins will undergo a late fitness test ahead of tomorrow's crunch Championship clash with relegation battling rivals Reading at Portman Road.
Midfielder Bishop produced two sparkling displays against Derby and Stoke, but then missed last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Wigan due to illness.
Collins enjoyed an impressive start to life with the Blues after joining as a free agent at the start of 2019, but the experienced centre-back has sat out the last five games with a hamstring injury.
On Bishop, Blues boss Paul Lambert explained: “He had sickness and diarrhoea from the bug that’s been going around, which is still here because Ellis (Harrison) has had it. James Collins has had it and Trevoh (Chalobah) has had it too.
“The lads have gone away from training and then all of a sudden the physio tells you they can’t come in because of sickness.
“Bish trained (last) Friday but he didn’t look great and still felt dizzy so to ask him to play in a game was too much for him.
“He would have played because he’s been excellent for us. But be’s back training now and is back fit.”
On Collins, he said: “He’s doing ok and we’ll see how he is come Saturday because we’ll have to change certain things due to Jonas (Knudsen)’s suspension and maybe looking at changing the system (from wing-backs) depending on who we’ve got fit.”
Lambert’s forward options are limited after Will Keane pulled up at the DW Stadium with a hamstring injury.
Freddie Sears (knee) is a long-term absentee, Ellis Harrison hasn’t featured since New Year’s Day due to a hamstring issue, Jack Lankester is set to see a specialist over a back problem, while youngsters Ben Folami (Achilles) and Ben Morris (knee) are also sidelined.
That leaves Collin Quaner and Kayden Jackson as the only recognised front men in the entire squad.
“Ellis is doing ok,” explained Lambert. “His hamstring’s getting better and he’s also had the virus that has been going around the last couple of days. He’s back in this morning (Thursday), although this game’s probably too early for him.”
Keane’s injury opens the door for another loan player to be involved – a maximum of five allowed in a match day squad – but Lambert revealed that left-back Callum Elder is also injured.
With Grant Ward, Emyr Huws and Tom Adeyemi also on the long-term injury list, Lambert said: “I’ve never known anything like it. There was Jon Walters (Achilles) before I arrived too.
“We trying to get the loan players fully fit and that’s a big ask because they’ve not had pre-season and haven’t been playing for their clubs.
“That’s probably why Will has hurt his hamstring.
“We had to try and get the guys hitting the ground running and we’ve had to throw them in because we don’t have time.
“That’s why you need a pre-season and why you need to stop loans coming in. If you don’t have loan players, all these situations don’t happen.”