Captain and Man-of-the-Match Lee Collins was happy to end the 2016-17 campaign with a solid display in the draw with Cambridge United today.The 27-year-old featured at right-back in the first period before moving to centre-half after the interval following an injury to Ryan Tafazolli.
And the former Northampton Town defender was satisfied with the improved second 45 minutes, in which the Stags could’ve grabbed the victory but had to settle for a point in a goalless draw.
“We made it difficult [in the] first half, they had a bit of a better hold of the game – [for the] second half we came out and really put them on the back foot which was a pleasure to watch, finishing the season with a good second half performance,” said Collins.
Overall, Collins has been impressed with the progress of the Stags, as well as his personal growth within the club.
“[The season has been] very productive. Personally, I’ve moved to clubs [and] like to think I’ve settled well in a great changing room full of great lads [with] great staff around us.
“From surviving relegation battles season-after-season to nearly getting there (the play-offs) this year with a very new squad, I think everyone to do with the club can be proud.”
Reflecting on the year, the defender feels that the positives far outweigh any negatives, with the Stags finishing in the top half. Meanwhile, he is hoping that his contract situation can be sorted out in the coming days.
“[The] high? Probably Morecambe away, setting up the two goals late on like a natural full-back! Lows have been losing here at Accrington; that was my worst game. There’s been a lot more highs than lows.
“I’m hoping in the next few days we can sort something out [regarding my future]. I hope the rest of the lads are here too because we really have got a good backbone to take into next year.”
Furthermore, Collins believes it is the camaraderie within the squad that has helped them to have a good season in Sky Bet League 2.
“I’ve been in squads where they don’t bounce off each other as well as we have – everyone knows each other [here] really well on and off the field.
“We can 'banter' each other day in and day out and we can be serious with each other and not get personal about it – it just means that we’re demanding more and being professional and all the lads take it in their stride.”
Supporters can view Lee Collins’ post-match interview on Stags Player HD.