Riley ready to make amends at Exeter

Martin Riley.

Martin Riley.

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Mansfield Town defender Martin Riley held his hand up as being responsible for allowing Notts County to grab their second goal in the Tuesday night Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat at Meadow Lane.

Jake Cassidy rode Riley’s tackle in the box to slot home the killer second as Mansfield stumbled at the competition’s first hurdle.

But Riley, back in the side this week after injury, is more concerned about getting the Stags getting back to winning ways in League two, starting at Exeter City on Saturday.

“When you’ve lost you know there was always something that could’ve been done,” he said.

“I held my hand up for the second goal. He got a lucky ricochet off my tackle, but I am not one for making excuses and I have got to be strong and maybe make a stronger tackle and not let him through.

“When you lose on a Tuesday you are up most of the night thinking about the game and going over it in your head. Most players say the same. After a defeat you are always in a pretty sombre place.

“The main reason this week was that it was a local derby and all the lads felt we didn’t quite give a proper show of it really.

“But it was only the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy so I am not sure it is massive and we are now back to the League which is our main aim.

“We need to put that Burton result right tomorrow. There wasn’t anything in that Burton game and we were all very disappointed to come out of it with a defeat. We need to go to Exeter, put things right and get a result.

“We know what we have to do as a team and as individuals. If we stick to our principles from last year then we will be fine.

“We have lost two League games on the bounce which is not nice at all. But both have been tight games and very close. I know we are not far away from picking points up.”

Riley is now hoping to put his early season injury knockback behind him.

He said: “I think I completed six 90 minutes pre-season, which I’ve never done before, only to then pick up a little injury. It’s been frustrating, but that’s two I’ve played on the bounce now and I would like to stake my place in the team.

“I was feeling fit and sharp coming into the season. The injury set me back slightly but I am now feeling good and fit again.”