United loanee Bishop determined to improve his Mansfield form

Manchester United goalkeeper Nathan Bishop is spending the season out on loan at Mansfield Town.

He has started all of their league matches this season, but the last three games have been tricky, all ending in defeat. He is yet to keep a clean sheet.

The game before that was away at Colchester, where Mansfield were 1-0 up going into stoppage time, before being pegged back by a Freddie Sears penalty.

Bishop has been honest in his appraisal of his early form in an interview with the club’s website.

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“I don’t think I’ve stood out so you can say ‘wow, he’s been unbelievable,’ but it’s about learning the team, the system and playing. You have to be your harshest critic at times which is so important,” said Bishop.

“I had a short pre-season, so I only had a week to get to know everyone. In terms of improvement, like at Colchester, I could shut the game out so much better.

“It shouldn’t come to a penalty in the end, because I can probably take more time [in possession]. That’s learning the game and something I need to do more of.

“Both of my goalie coaches have spoken to me a few times. It’s nice to hear what they have to say. Les Parry is head of loans so he’s been speaking to me and he was at the game at the weekend.”

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Opportunity to improve

The first thing to note is that this attitude and desire to improve will stand Bishop in good stead.

Playing matches that matter and seeing them out is a huge benefit of spending the season on loan.

He’ll learn from those experiences, and come through stronger once results begin to turn.

So far, Bishop has conceded 13 goals in seven Mansfield matches. He’ll hope to improve that record as the campaign wears on and he has the talent and attitude to do exactly that.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.