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Bishop: The lads were brave

11 November 2017

Neal Bishop scored a late winner to help the Iron seal a 1-0 win against Bristol Rovers on Saturday.


Extra Photos: Bristol Rovers (H)

11 November 2017

The 36-year-old came back into the side and helped the Iron to get the three points that sees them stay in fifth position, only one point away from third.

Bishop discussed his goal, the result and the performances of his teammates in a post-match interview with iFollow Iron.

NB: I think you saw that in the celebration. We had probed them, tried to do the right things and tried to win a game of football. The game-plan was right and in the end I think that there was only one team that wanted to win it. Fair play to them (Bristol Rovers) because they have been on a bit of a sticky patch - yet they’ve come here, dropped deep and made it really hard for us. It’s a small, narrow pitch here at Glanford Park and so when teams do that it’s difficult to break them down. However, the lads were brave. You’ve seen that everyone really wanted to get on the ball. If they made a mistake they wanted to get back on the ball and do it again. For that character and willingness to win I think we deserved it.

NB: We probed them but didn’t create clear-cut opportunities, despite a couple of balls that whizzed across the box. We were getting a bit frustrated as we weren’t getting as many people into the box as we could in a game where we felt in control. You could tell that Bristol’s game-plan was going to be to sit deep but I think that the lads at the back were brilliant. Cameron (Burgess) and Charlie (Goode) were brilliant coming into the side and won every header. Murray (Wallace) was great again at left-back so we never thought that they were going to bother us on the break. I think that we were fully in control of the game and it was just a question of getting that one opportunity and seeing if we could take it. My goal came just after a chance where I thought I was fouled. However, I know that it’s hard to give those decisions when there’s 20 people in the box. Overall, through sheer desire and will to win I think that we deserved the win.

"It was the sheer fact that it came around 90 minutes into the game and it had been a fairly frustrating match - that meant a lot of emotion came from me and the crowd."

Neal Bishop, midfielder

NB: They were very good, not just in their performance but their communication as well in the way that they were talking to me, Funso (Ojo) and the full-backs. We’ve lost our skipper (Rory McArdle) to Northern Ireland and Murray has gone to left-back, where he looks a natural. Bristol had a little chance in the second-half but, other than that, Matt Gilks hasn’t had a save to make. That’s testament to those two. Also, credit to their professionalism, because I know that they’ve been playing in the Checkatrade Trophy but these games are a step-up in tempo and intensity and they’ve slotted in like they’ve played all season.  

NB: It was the sheer fact that it came around 90 minutes into the game and it had been a fairly frustrating match - that meant a lot of emotion came from me and the crowd. To be fair, they have stuck with us as best they can. I know that everyone gets frustrated, because we get frustrated on the pitch when it’s not happening for us and we’re not pulling teams apart. If you score early against a team that’s come to sit and defend then it’s a completely different game because then it opens up a bit more. Teams aren’t going to come here and roll over, especially with the home record, which has been good for the majority of the time that I’ve been here. I was fortunate enough to get the goal but we were on the front foot and we were the ones that wanted to win the game so if any team was going to win then it was going to be us.

NB: We don’t want any teams to run away in this league and you’ve seen what can happen when you put a good run together. Ever since the manager has been here, we have been on an upward trajectory. The pain of last season is still there for me and probably for a lot of the lads that are still here. It still hurts and it’s going to hurt until we put it right. We want to put it right this season and I think that we take that into every game. I like to remind myself of it because you don’t want to go through that again. It’s disappointing and you’ve got to turn it around and make sure that you never end a season like that again. It was gut-wrenching after the season that we had. Games like that do a great job in sending us up the table. We have to win our home games if we want to stand any chance of getting up there. We want promotion and we don’t want to shy away from that. That’s our objective this season and we’ve got to get back to winning our home games to do that. Today has put us on the right path.

NB: We’ll know a lot about each other come half-past five on Saturday afternoon, that is for certain. You don’t want to look too far ahead and there’s a great derby day ahead of us (at Doncaster in the FA Cup second round) if we win on Tuesday night. It’s a big game on Tuesday and we won’t look forward to Saturday until that is done and dusted.

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