Midfielder Neal Bishop has hailed Mansfield Town’s Sky Bet League Two finale as an opportunity to ‘relish’ despite falling to a battling 3-2 defeat at Oldham Athletic.
The Stags were beaten at Boundary Park but were left aggrieved when Danny Rose’s last-minute equaliser was ruled out for offside.
The result leaves Mansfield in third position in the league standings with two fixtures remaining to secure promotion.
And Bishop has marked Mansfield’s last two matches as something to enjoy with destiny still firmly in their own hands.
“It’s in our hands with two to play – it’s something to relish and enjoy,” the 37-year-old began.
“It is probably guaranteed to go down to the wire but it was probably destined to when were looking at this fixture 15, 20 games out but it is.
“Do you want to be sat mid-table with nothing to play for? Where do you want to be? There’s only two teams in this division that’s swapped places with us out of 24 so that’s not a bad season for us."
“It’s in our hands with two to play – it’s something to relish and enjoy.”
The former Scunthorpe man scored Mansfield’s second goal of the afternoon in a bid to spark a second-half comeback.
However, Bishop stated that his well-taken strike counts for nothing with focus now set on filtering any frustration in time for the Stags’ next league match at home to Stevenage.
“It counts for nothing. It’ll all quickly be forgotten about.
“The main thing is getting the frustration out of our system with a quick turnaround before our next game.
“We have to get it out of our system quickly because we’re still in the top three – destiny is still in our own hands.
“There’s probably only two teams who have swapped places with us, and that’s Bury and Lincoln, so you’ve got to get the frustration out the minute we leave the stadium and focus on Saturday.
“We still know if we win our last two games we’ll be promoted.”
Despite the loss, Mansfield’s second goalscorer remained positive following a spirited display against the Latics.
“We can’t be too disappointed we have to look at the bigger picture,” Bishop continued.
“It was frenetic. It was hectic. I think they [Oldham] need to win all of their remaining games and it showed with the second half being more like a basketball game.
“It was end to end, there were chances, there were balls flying across the box and if we’re being honest that’s not us at our best.
“We’re at our best when we’re controlling games and dominating. We didn’t do that, but not for lack of trying, because we’ve had a right good go.
“There is stuff we need to improve on but we’ve been fairly relentless all season and if we can bring our A-game Saturday it should be a positive result.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Bishop's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.