Andy Bishop, confident, fit and looking forward
‘It’s just nice to be involved in a full pre-season, coming back with all the lads and starting everything they are doing. I’ve not had to drop out of anything; I’ve done absolutely everything the rest of the lads have done and getting fit. It’s a bit of a novelty, its hard work but it’s just nice to be fully involved again and to be back a part of the lads again.
I don’t want to jinx anything, but everything is fine fitness and health wise. I’ve trained every minute of pre-season and it feels great. It’s just nice to be back playing, training and doing everything.
Last year I blew up around Christmas time and that was a lot to do with not doing a pre-season. I’d done no running and missed a lot of stuff out. Coming on after 20 minutes at Huddersfield wasn’t the plan, but I just had to get through it and get fit. Once I did get fit I had two or three months where I felt great, sharp and scored some goals, but then hit a brick wall because the fitness wasn’t there.
Hopefully I can set off like I did before Christmas and scoring goals; putting in good performances and hopefully I’ll be even better than that this year.
I’ve had a few operations over the years now, too many, but the one at the end of the season was good for me. They went in and cleaned the knee out. They took a large piece of bone out and I was struggling with some pain but nobody could work out why. A bit of bone had come away and had become lodged in the joint. It was causing all the pain but now it’s gone, it’s absolutely fine now. The surgeon said my knees were like a 20 year olds knee, so that can only be good.
I've set myself a target – I want to score 100 goals for the club – so that’s 21 goals for the season. That would be lovely.
My last full pre-season was probably four or five years ago. It’s been a long time. The first three years I did every pre-season, but none after that. 21 goals is within my reach this season. Last year I started the season well and had ten goals before Christmas. The plan last year was to get fit for October and then push on, but I was thrown in after 20 minutes of the first game – but still scored ten before Christmas.
Now I'm fully fit, raring to go and haven’t felt this sharp for a long time. I think the target for the club for the new season is the same as last year. We had a great season and managed to stay in the league, we need two or three years at this level to stabilise and make sure we stay in this league. We know it’s going to be tough, but we have to be more consistent than anything. If we had turned five defeats into a couple of wins and draws, we would have been in the play offs. Just be more consistent.’
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