Magpies must beat Pompey, says Bishop
NOTTS County must beat Portsmouth at Meadow Lane today or their hard-fought draws away at Oldham Athletic and MK Dons will count for nothing, says skipper Neal Bishop.
The Magpies have had to dig very deep to earn two points from their last two games in League One.
They played for almost 70 minutes with ten men in a 2-2 draw against the Latics, after Bishop's central midfield partner Andre Boucaud was sent off at Boundary Park.
They also had to raise their game to draw 1-1 against the Dons, with Bishop scoring his best goal for the club.
With those two draws, Notts have set a new club record of 11 away league games unbeaten – but Bishop now has his sights set firmly on beating Pompey.
The Magpies are in third place in the table, after winning four of their first seven games and a fifth win will keep them up at the top.
"We've come out of two tricky away games with two points and we need to kick on from here," he said.
"There is a big part of me thinking it should have been six points because we led twice at Oldham and went in front against MK Dons.
"But we're still happy with two points. They will only be good points if we beat Portsmouth though."
Bishop was also the Magpies' man of the match against the Dons.
He is in great form right now – and he knows he has to keep it up or else he will be dropped even though he is captain.
"The gaffer has been on at me ever since he came in about goals," he said. "He wants me to score more so I've got to step up to the plate if I want to keep my place in the team.
"I don't have a God-given right to be in the team just because I'm captain.
"I've got to create more, score more and add more to my game to become a better player.
"The competition for places is the fiercest it's ever been. You could pick any one of the midfielders and make a good case for them to be starting in the team.
"I'm thriving on being pushed all of the way. A few people expected me not to be playing this season because of the players that we brought in during the summer.
"It's up to me to show I deserve to be in this team and playing at this level."