Town midfielder Teddy Bishop is predicting a bright future for the club – irrespective of where they are playing their football next season.
Relegation to League One still looks almost certain, despite a morale-boosting 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, but Bishop believes there are better times ahead even if Town return to the third tier for the first time since 1957.
The 22-year-old academy graduate, hoping to start at Bristol City tomorrow, said: “I think there could be good times here next season. Whatever division we are going to be in, the gaffer has built the foundations for next season already.
"I think the fans love him and all the boys get on really well with him, so I think we’ve got an exciting future to come.
“The gaffer has given us licence to interchange a bit in midfield. It’s definitely not ‘You stay here, you stay there’.
"We’re moving around but at the same time we all know the job we have to do and I think we’ve all enjoyed playing over the last couple of months.”
Asked how much boss Paul Lambert had done for him, Bishop added: “He’s done a lot for me and all the staff have been really patient with me.
“He’s not pushed me too hard but he’s put me in when he thought the time was right and I’ve agreed with him. I enjoy playing for him and I think he’s a really good manager.
“West Brom on Saturday was some of the best football I’ve played this season. I really enjoyed myself out there and I know all the boys did. We definitely deserved three points.
“We just need to keep playing like that between now and the end of the season and hopefully we can pick up some more points.
“The gaffer wants energy from me because he knows I’ve got the legs to get up and down the pitch.
“I’ve got speed, I can both attack and defend, so he just wants me to get about, create chances and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.
“The introduction of Alan Judge has helped me massively. I think he’s a great player. I’ve enjoyed playing with Jon [Nolan], with Flynn [Downes] and everybody else I’ve played with this season, and obviously when Skusey or Trev [Chalobah] sits there it allows us to get forward.
“We knew before Judgey came here that he was a great player and it gave everyone a lift when he arrived. We were thinking ‘We’ve actually got him, now let’s kick on’ and I think performances have improved since he’s been with us.
“He’s a great lad as well around the training ground, so hopefully we can keep hold of him. It would be great to have him here next season, no matter which division we are in. We can always use a player like him.”
Bishop’s injury problems in recent years have been well documented but the club stayed loyal to him last season to keep him at Portman Road for a further 12 months and his performances in the current campaign convinced them to recently offer a new two-year deal, which he was grateful to accept.
He continued: “You can worry about your future but I just thought to myself ‘I need to play some games’ so I got myself into the team and then I was rewarded by the club with a new contract. I’m happy that I’m going to be here for the next two years.”
Asked if he was worried about his future at any stage, Bishop responded: “I had the same problem last year but I was less worried this year. Last year I was obviously injured so that worried me but this year I’ve been training regularly for the past four or five months so it wasn’t so much of a worry to me this time.
“I feel better right now than I have done in a long time so I knew that if the club decided not to keep me I’d be fit come the end of the season.
“That’s a big difference to going into the off-season injured, so I wasn’t too concerned.
“I know I’m going to be here for the next two years and I think all the boys want to stay, although we also know that’s going to be down to the manager.
“I think we could have a great season, wherever we are, and I don’t think any of us have any plans to move elsewhere.
“It’s such a nice feeling to be playing regularly. I’d almost forgotten how nice it is to be playing week in, week out.
“It’s what I always wanted to do as a kid and now I’m able to play week in, week out. I think I’ve played six games in the last couple of months and that’s probably more than I’ve done in the past three years. It’s a great feeling.
“I played the whole game against Derby and then I had another 90 minutes against Stoke three days later.
“That sort of situation was a long time coming. It’s good to know that you can play on the Wednesday and know that you can go again on the Saturday.
“I’ve done a lot of strength work, which has enabled me to do that, and now it’s all about playing as many games as I can.”
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Some interesting bits in here which I hope are true and not just "hot air"