Winning promotion with Mansfield Town would mean the world to me – loanee Manchester United keeper Nathan Bishop

Loanee Manchester United keeper Nathan Bishop said winning promotion with Mansfield Town would mean the world to him as Stags continue their push at Bradford City on Saturday.

Thursday, 24th February 2022, 9:25 am
Nathan Bishop of Mansfield Town celebrates after his side score.
Nathan Bishop of Mansfield Town celebrates after his side score.

The 22-year-old rookie is enjoying developing at the One Call Stadium and with promotion via the top three or play-offs currently a realistic proposition, he said: “It would mean the world to me.

“Ever since I signed for this club it has been absolutely one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had – even when things were not going well for us earlier in the season.

“I am probably number five at United, but for me it's about playing games, getting the most minutes I can and really pushing on to develop myself as a person and learn my trade.

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Nathan Bishop marshalls his defence.

“I haven't discussed anything with United yet, but I would like to play as much football as I can next season, wherever that may be – that's the most important thing.

“I live in Derby so it's not bad for me at all here – it's a 40 minute car journey which gives me chance to catch up with everyone I need to catch up with on the way.

“It's a real pleasure being with the boys and I absolutely love every one of my team mates.

“I am learning how to be a man and handle myself and not being so looked after in the sense of being told what to do. You just have to learn on the job and trust your instincts.”

Nathan Bishop of Mansfield Town in action at Northampton.

With Stags playing so well in front of him, the young keeper has simply enjoyed watching the football at times.

“It's been great,” he smiled. “To be fair I haven't had that much to do.

“My back line and our defensive tactics straight from the front have been unbelievable.

“I can't take too much credit but it's great being a part of it. I am really enjoying it.

Focused and ready to fight for three points - Stags in the tunnel at Bristol Rovers.

“When I see it in front of me it's a great watch with the football we play – it's exciting to be a part of it and to be able to see it, live it, feel it and watch it is the best thing possible.

“This current run is down to our desire, work-rate and togetherness. If we have gone a goal behind or a goal ahead it's been about sticking together and getting through games.

“It's more about working as a unit than about individuals.

“There is a belief and it comes from the manager and his staff. They are telling us constantly we should have a character and belief, fight for everything we're given and go for everything we can get.

“They just push us to be the best we can be.

“I see it first hand and I see how exhausted the boys are after a game. That's what it's all about.

“It's about leaving everything out there on the pitch – that's what the fans deserve.

“Even the subs that come on have been fantastic at doing it. They run their hearts into the ground and leave everything out there.”

Stags head for Bradford City for a third successive away game after 0-0 draws at Exeter and – with 10 men – at rivals Newport County last weekend.

“The shifts over recent weeks have been outstanding,” he said.

“Draws are not ideal but we will take them all day, especially away from home. They've been good results in the end, especially finishing with 10 men.

“If you look at it with a bigger perspective we didn't lose the game at Newport and we've taken a point against a potential promotion rival.

“It's not all doom and gloom, though we were devastated and gutted we didn't come away with three points.

“I can't wait for Bradford now. It's a great stadium with a good fan base, and it will be nice to get up against them, especially as we've sold out our tickets which will make it even more exciting.

“It literally feels like if we go behind we can get through any game. We will get it back. And that's down to our fans literally standing behind us.

“Going away they've been the loudest every time which has been fantastic for us.

“I have played at Bradford before when I was about 18. It's a huge stadium with a big crowd. Hopefully I will end up with similar memories this time.

“For us now it's just about ticking off each game as we go, three points, one point, as long as we're getting something from games, that's the most important thing – but ideally winning.”

Playing regular senior football, Bishop now fully appreciates the importance of three points on a Saturday.

“For these lads, that's their livelihood, and it's the most important thing to them in the world,” he said.

“To make every minute of every game count for three points is the most important thing. The togetherness here shows that three points matters every single week.

“From a personal perspective, being a keeper at this club and for this team is really exciting.

“There are things to learn every day. There's ways to learn to manage a game and get through games.

“You feel more confidence when you're back at Manchester United. It gives you a belief to even try to do different things.

“You have played different scenarios, you've lived a bit more. It gives you that experience and excitement to go into training and show what you've learned so far.”