No excuses for poor defending from Stags skipper Collins after goals feast

Mansfield v Accrington Stanley.
Lee Collins gets in a shot in the second half.
Mansfield v Accrington Stanley. Lee Collins gets in a shot in the second half.

Mansfield Town skipper Lee Collins had no excuses for last night’s flimsy defending in the thrilling 4-4 home draw with Accrington Stanley.

But he said the players were determined to rectify their off night when they travel to Grimsby Town on Saturday.

“It was a horrible game to play in. We didn’t set out with our game plan,” he said.

“We knew they would start sharp, start bright and get in our faces.

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“We had been told so many times but we just didn’t deal with it early on. It’s the poorest we’ve been for a while and we will obviously try to rectify it on Saturday.”

Before last night Stags had chalked up three successive clean sheets and had only conceded one League goal all year.

“I will back our back four against anyone in this league,” said Collins.

“But obviously tonight we made a few mistakes – that’s not just the back four, that’s collectively. We made mistakes all over the pitch for all of the goals.

“It’s disappointing tonight with how well our season had been going defensively, but we’ll try to sort it out on Saturday.”

Nevertheless, Mansfield dug deep to twice come back from two-goal deficits and eventually grabbed a last minute equaliser through a spectacular strike from sub Yoann Arquin.

“It shows we’ve got a great changing room,” said Collins.

“For how poor we’d been, to fight back and scrape something out the game, you could see the team spirit when we score goals. We all like winning and it’s a winning business.

“Full credit to Yoann. To sit on the sideline for quite a few weeks and then to come on and put that into the top bin showed a lot of character.

“He deserves the plaudits for saving us. I remember he scored a very similar goal in his trial game, which is what we signed him for.

“He is a great talent and hopefully he will now start getting a few more goals for us.”

Collins said there would be an inquest, but then everyone needed to move on quickly.

“We won’t brush it under the carpet as there is a lot that needs sorting out after that performance, but we will assess it and move on,” he said.

“We were poor, but we can’t be too down. It’s one of them. Football is a strange game.

“Accrington are an anomaly away from home – they are always difficult, but we shot ourselves in the foot and we are disappointed with that.”