Suspended Mansfield Town star Neal Bishop told to ‘forgive himself’ for costly red card

Neal Bishop
Neal Bishop

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft has told veteran midfielder Neal Bishop to ‘forgive himself’ for his costly red card last weekend as Stags’ 17-game unbeaten run was halted by a 3-2 defeat at Carlisle United.

Flitcroft said Bishop had taken his one-game suspension badly, but he had to look forward and quickly put it behind him.

“He was beside himself over the weekend,” said the manager.

“But we told Bish to forgive himself. I made mistakes myself as a player. “You can’t carry them around. Football moves on and life moves on. We have to move on really quickly.

“I told him ‘make sure you go home to your family and spend quality time with them. Don’t take the result or how you feel home to them’.

“It’s really important and I got taught that at an early age as a young player. You can’t carry frustration around. It’s a wasted emotion.

“There are so many good things we’ve got to look forward to this season and beyond and I remind the players of that. I think it’s really important I set the tone on the training ground.

“I don’t want any moping around after any defeat. We have been dealt a few blows this season with injuries to players.

“But our squad is galvanised by spirit. That comes from the management. If you allow victim behaviour to develop it will stay around. We break it up and move on very quickly and we all forgive very quickly.”

However, Bishop has been one of the club’s most consistent performers all season and Flitcroft admitted: “He will be a miss there is no doubt about that. He would be to any team.

“Bish, with his game knowledge and know-how and his presence on the pitch, has performed incredibly all season.

“We have to do the work this week to make sure we plug that gap. Any good player leaves a void – it’s up to us to come up with a system and game plan to negate that.”