Ipswich Town haven’t buckled under the pressure of making the step-up to the Championship whatsoever, taking the second tier by storm under Kieran McKenna this season with the Tractor Boys currently occupying second spot on 39 points – only one loss next to their name, one misstep in an otherwise fantastic start.
This means the Suffolk-based club are front and centre in an intense battle to secure an automatic promotion spot, aiming to get back into the top flight for the first time since they were relegated from the Premier League all the way back in the 2001/02 season.
Ipswich even dropped down to League One during those years away, finally picking up the pieces now to possibly pull off the feat of back-to-back promotions to face off against English football’s elite teams again.
It’s the first time Ipswich have been near the top of the second tier since the days of Mick McCarthy in charge at Portman Road, with young midfield talent Teddy Bishop a rising star under McCarthy who the club thought would go on to have a career playing for a top club away from the Tractor Boys.
That didn’t quite materialise for Bishop, but for his new employers, the 27-year-old is outperforming Ipswich first-team stalwart Massimo Luongo.
Bishop’s time at Ipswich Town
On the Ipswich books as a youngster since playing for the Under 8s, the 5 foot 10 midfielder would sign his first-ever senior contract at Portman Road in 2014.
It would lead to Bishop becoming a first-team presence for the Tractor Boys at a very young age, strutting his stuff in the first-team set-up still as a teenager.
Bishop would go on to amass 132 appearances for the Suffolk-based club over seven full seasons, injury issues often stopping the dynamic midfielder in his tracks when he was in his best vein of form.
The pressure of being a homegrown talent destined for bigger things also got the better of Bishop arguably whilst at Ipswich, hailed as a player with “Premier League ability” when first emerging onto the scene by McCarthy in the dug-out.
The 27-year-old departed Portman Road two years ago with five goals and 13 assists tallied up along the way, a bittersweet exit for the midfielder who had played for Ipswich ever since he was a child.
It’s been since leaving the Tractor Boys behind, however, where Bishop has managed to revitalise his career, starring in League One with Lincoln City now.
Bishop’s statistics since leaving Ipswich
Speaking about his 2021 exit from Ipswich and the “brutal” circumstances in which he was offloaded in an interview right after his departure, Bishop has used the cruel rejection he experienced by his boyhood club as fuel to succeed away from Portman Road.
Not present in the Lincoln side since a 1-0 win over Fleetwood Town in mid-October – Bishop’s reoccurring fitness concerns popping up once more – the 27-year-old has shown his pedigree with the Imps when he’s been fit enough to have a prolonged run in the team.
Lincoln’s number 10 has two goals and two assists this campaign from 11 appearances in total, outperforming Luongo who is still at Portman Road – the Australian central midfielder notching up one goal and one assist from 16 appearances.
Bishop leaves a lasting impression on supporters at Sincil Bank when he does feature, playing an average of just 45 minutes this season yet has more goal contributions than a regular first-teamer in the division above.
His 82-minute stint against Fleetwood nearly saw Lincoln beat the Cod Army by far more goals, Bishop unable to find the back of the net with four shots on the day as per Sofascore with opposition bodies blocking two of his efforts.
There will still be a tinge of sadness for Bishop that he couldn’t cut it at Ipswich beyond his stay at the club, but his current focus now will be ensuring he can get back to full sharpness again soon to help Lincoln progress in League One.