8:00am Monday 19th August 2013
By Paul Fraser
A SUNDERLAND and Middlesbrough fan combined to give Tony Mowbray something to worry about at the Riverside – where a lie to the Guv'nor almost paid off for one.
Experienced defensive midfielder Neal Bishop, a former Northern League player from Stockton, was so desperate to make his Championship debut for Blackpool on his native Teesside, he told manager Paul Ince he could play left-midfield.
The 31-year-old, who worked the flank well, also earned the free-kick seven minutes from time which led to Hebburn-born Chris Basham's opener against Middlesbrough.
Despite Dutch substitute Marvin Emnes levelling in injury-time, boyhood Boro fan Bishop was happy with the outcome.
He said: “I only knew I was playing in the one o'clock meeting. I was surprised to see my name in left midfield - I thought it was a misprint!
“I told the gaffer I'd played there before but I lied out of my backside to be honest, I've never played there in my life. I wanted to be in the team; I wanted my chance.
“I was a season-ticket holder at Ayresome Park. All my friends and family are Middlesbrough fans so it's a massive day for me. I was ridiculously nervous before the game. It's probably the first time in my life I haven't wanted Middlesbrough to win!”
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