Nathan Bishop says he is 'gutted' after falling short in promotion play-off

Manchester United youngster James Garner enjoyed play-off final success with Nottingham Forest at the weekend, leading the team to a Wembley win.

Another Manchester United loanee had a more bitter taste of a Wembley defeat. Nathan Bishop was on the losing team.

Bishop’s loan side Mansfield Town were beaten 3-0 by Port Vale, with former Manchester United striker James Wilson scoring one of the goals against him.

Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Nathan Bishop says he is ‘gutted’

48 hours after the defeat, the young goalkeeper spoke out on social media. Nathan Bishop said he is ‘gutted’ by the loss.

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Writing on Instagram, Bishop wrote: “To Everyone at Mansfield town, Staff, Players and especially the fans; cannot thank you all enough! Gutted we fell just short at the end but it was some ride! An incredible football club with some incredible things to come!”

Mansfield were not expected to even be in promotion contention when Bishop signed on loan for the club last summer.

He helped them go on a strong run, where they were 20th in November, before finishing in seventh place and going on to reach the play-off final.

Bishop kept 14 clean sheets during the league season, and played more than 50 games in all competitions.

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Still only 22, this loan spell was a valuable experience for the young goalkeeper, who Manchester United signed in 2020 from Southend United.

Bishop was fifth choice at United when he was sent out on loan, and this has now become fourth, due to Lee Grant’s retirement.

If Dean Henderson is sold or sent out on loan, Bishop would be elevated to third, if no other goalkeeper is brought in.

Another option for United is to send Bishop out on another loan, possibly even to a Championship club, to push his development. The same strategy of multiple loans was taken with Henderson, and United may look to repeat it.

Mansfield however want to bring Bishop back, with manager Nigel Clough telling the Mansfield Chad newspaper: “He has just played 52 games for us, which I think is more than he has played in his career.

“Do the same again next season and you will improve again.”

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