Defender Lee Collins felt Mansfield Town deserved more in their Emirates FA Cup first round 0-0 draw against Oldham Athletic this afternoon.
The defender performed admirably alongside fellow centre-back Ryan Tafazolli and full-backs Nicky Hunt and Blair Adams to record a third clean sheet in four matches in all competitions.
Despite needing to be on his guard against the League One outfit’s attacking arsenal which included ex-Premier League striker Ricardo Fuller, Collins firmly believes the Stags had enough dangerous play to come away with the victory.
“Don’t get me wrong, they had a couple of good chances but we had a handful of decent chances but I’m not going to criticise the lads for missing, because they’re quality – I can’t really knock them, it just didn’t happen.
“I think it’s probably our best performance for a while, we’ve had some really good games like Portsmouth away recently. We really bossed that game.”
Collins was also keen to praise the options available to Adam Murray in the backline, and declared his satisfaction at the way the manager has handled the players in situations along the season so far.
“Taf’s (Ryan Tafazolli) been there all season and has been solid, we’ve got Pearcey (Krystian Pearce) on the sidelines as well who’s keeping us on our toes. There’s competition for places, you can’t take it for granted and it’s down to the manager to keep us reined in.
“He’s [Murray] brilliant, [his] man management, he knows how to get each and every player motivated. After a loss, some lads like a kick up the backside, some lads need a bit more of an arm around them and he balances it right.”
Mansfield are back in Sky Bet League Two action next week when they travel to face crisis-club Northampton Town at Sixfields – the Cobblers are Collins’ former side, and the Telford-born man was sympathetic towards them in their troubles.
“I’ve had this date on my calendar since the start of the season, I’ve still got a lot of love for the club, they’re in a bit of a pickle financially which I hope they get out of. It’s not pretty, the staff there, the players and the fans deserve better.
“I don’t know what’s gone on so I can’t really express my opinion, something’s not right, I just hope it gets fixed – but obviously I’m a Mansfield player now and I’m going there with three points on my mind.”
You can see more from Collins on Stags Player.