New signing the latest piece in Adam Murray’s jigsaw.
Commanding centre-half Lee Collins is looking forward to what he hopes will be a successful new chapter in his career, having put pen-to-paper on a contract with us earlier today.
The defender, who has almost 300 appearances to his name, boasts excellent experience at this level following spells with Hereford United, with whom he won promotion, Port Vale for three-and-a-half seasons and most recently Northampton Town.
“I came and had a sit down meeting with the manager and coaching staff last week and their plans for going forward really interested me so it was quite an easy decision,” explained the defender.
“They want to play attacking football. They want to give the fans something to be happy about and I was happy with what they were saying. They want to win games, I want to win games and that’s why I’ve come here.”
Describing his playing style and his targets, he continued: “I’m not the tallest centre-half, but I win a lot of headers. I like to read the game and I like to get on the ball as well.
“I don’t know any lad that goes into a fresh season and doesn’t want to get promoted. There’s been a lot of good signings and I want to win a lot of games. If you do that, you’re going to be up there.”
When asked what our boss has said to him, Collins replied: “The manager said he likes me and he likes how he play. He wants me to play and get on the ball and it’s a win-win situation.”
Many Northampton fans were surprised that Collins was allowed to leave the Sixfields Stadium this summer, with the defender having been a lynchpin in their backline over the past few years.
“I sort of got the hint a few weeks before the end of the season that I wasn’t going to be there,” said the 26-year-old.
“I didn’t let it affect my performances, but I knew in the back of my mind that I was going to have to move on. That’s football though – it comes with the territory.”
He added: “I think I played 43 games last year, so I’m obviously coming into this season on the back of quite a busy season and I just want to get back into playing games again.”
One of the appearances that the centre-back made in 2014/15 came in a feisty 1-1 draw at One Call Stadium in February – a day which was dubbed ‘John O’Toole Day’ by the travelling fans.
The Stags opened the scoring early in the second half, but Marc Richards’ stoppage-time spot-kick earned Collins’ former team-mates a point in dramatic circumstances.
“John-Joe O’Toole Day was a big occasion for Northampton fans,” laughed the ex-Cobblers man. “We brought about 1,000 fans and he got sent-off after 30 minutes. I thought we were quite lucky to get away with a 1-1 draw, because you really gave us a game. The [home] fans were definitely passionate and got right behind the team.”