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Bishop: Eager To Return

5 February 2014

The experienced midfielder is looking forward to getting back in the Pool squad

Utility man Neal Bishop is itching to be back and amongst the rest of the Blackpool squad when he returns to full training tomorrow.

The 32-year-old last played away at Barnsley three weeks ago, struggling with a hamstring problem ever since, but the former Notts County man is now hopeful of a return to first-team action sooner rather than later.

"I hate missing a day's training let alone two weeks," admitted Bishop. "Initially my scan came back saying I'd be out for six weeks, but I said to the physio that under no circumstances could I be out for that long, so I've been pushing as hard as I can to get back ever since then.

"It'll be three weeks this weekend since I last played, so if I can be back involved against Forest it'd be a bonus, although the Ipswich game would probably be a more realistic target."

After a run of 14 games without a win, The Seasiders have endured a frustrating time of things in the league, with Bishop admitting his injury lay-off gave him the opportunity to re-assess his own performances.

"It probably wasn't the worst thing in the world missing the last few weeks as I wasn't playing my best to be honest with you. It's given me a chance to recharge my batteries and reflect on how I can improve, and how I can force myself back into Fergie's plans," added Bishop.

It's been all change since Bishop last turned out in a Pool shirt, with Paul Ince departing the club and Barry Ferguson standing in for the side in the meantime. And Bishop says that all the players are united behind the Scot getting the job on a permanent basis.

"He's been a big part of this dressing room ever since he arrived. He's definitely someone I look up to. I want to play at the highest possible level I can for as long as possible, and that's something Fergie's been able to do, so he's definitely someone I want to emulate.

"The tempo's lifted a lot since he's taken over as well and the new staff are demanding a lot from the players as well, so that bodes well for the team in the future."

Pool will look to do the double over promotion-chasing Nottingham Forest this weekend after winning at the City Ground earlier in the season, something which Bishop says the players should take confidence from.

"We were excellent at Forest earlier in the season and were good value for the win. Obviously then we were in really good form and now we're not, but things can soon change.

"Surprisingly the mood in the camp isn't too bad. We're not coming in to training laughing and joking put it that way - we know the seriousness of the situation we are in.

"We know we're under performing it's as simple as that. You can blame managers, you can blame this and you can blame that, but ultimately it's down to us as players to shoulder the responsibility. 

"We're the ones who put together the run at the start of the season, the best in Blackpool's history, so that shows we can do it but we've got to let our actions do the talking now and that needs to start this weekend against Forest," concluded Bishop.

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