Stags’ centre-half Lee Collins believes this afternoon’s 1-1 draw with York City followed a similar pattern to recent games that they should’ve won in Sky Bet League Two.
Mansfield got themselves back into the game when Krystian Pearce nodded home after Dave Winfield had earlier given the Minstermen the lead. The Stags had more than enough opportunities to claim the three points, but were met by an inspired Scott Flinders between the sticks for York.
And Collins, who partnered Pearce in the centre of defence, took full responsibility for the goal the hosts conceded and says his side should’ve finished the visitors off in the second half, who were grateful to come away with the point in their fight for survival.
“[The game was] same as usual, [we] dominate in large patches of the game but concede daft goals and [we’re] not quite as clinical as we should be.
“My man scored and I should do better, especially as a senior pro. I put my hands up [and] that’s all I can do; it was poor from me. They (York) were delighted with a point, you could see the relief on their faces at the final whistle, which was frustrating.
“They’ll be going home tired because I thought we ran them ragged in the second half – that’s been our story recently, we’re not quite getting our just reward. It’s a very fine margin between someone missing a shot by 20 yards and someone bagging two out of nowhere.”
Adam Murray’s men are halfway through the 2015-16 campaign after their final match of 2015 and now sit 11th in the division with a game in hand over most of their rivals.
Collins firmly believes it’s been a good first 23 games for Mansfield, who have come a long way in the space of the last 12 months.
“It’s been very positive. The first half of the season has been brilliant. The lads we’ve brought in, it’s a fresh squad and I think we’ve gelled really well and we’re bringing a more appealing game of football to Mansfield than what they’re used to.
“I think the fans can be happy with the work the players, staff and the manager have put in.”
With the Stags finely poised going into the last five months of the campaign, former Northampton Town man Collins reckons the club’s supporters can expect to see a more ambitious approach in future games.
“Now we’ve got our basis of a very good defensive record, I think we’ll be going for it a bit more, especially at home – ‘letting the leash off’ a little bit. If you did that too early with such a fresh squad, we’d get picked apart. Now I think we’re ready to do it a bit more.”
You can watch Collins' post-match interview on Stags Player.