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Collins praises team spirit after Stanley comeback

14 February 2017

Skipper Lee Collins says tonight’s 4-4 draw with Accrington Stanley typified the spirit in the changing room as Stags twice came from behind to rescue a point in a quite incredible game.

Stags were 2-0 down inside the opening 30 minutes as goals from Accrington defender Omar Beckles and striker Shay McCartan shocked One Call Stadium. However, Stags trailed by just one goal going into the break as defenders Rhys Bennett and Hayden White scored either side of a Billy Kee effort. 

The game continued in the same exhilarating fashion in the second half as striker Shaq Coulthirst equalised from the spot before Kee got his second of the game, also a penalty, to put Accrington ahead once more. 

However, striker Yoann Arquin climbed off the bench to score a stunning equaliser from 25 yards as he volleyed beyond Marek Rodak to extend Stags’ unbeaten league run to nine matches. 

And Stags’ captain Collins says the fighting spirit inside the dressing room was evident for all to see at One Call Stadium this evening. 

“[The comeback] shows that we’ve got a great changing room,” Collins said. 

“For how poor we’ve been [tonight], to fight back and get something out of the game, you can see the team spirit when we score goals. 

“We all like winning and it’s a winning business and we all want to win, but we just couldn’t do it today.”

Despite Collins being pleased with the Stags' determination, he admits it was a poor performance and mistakes were made all over the pitch. 

“We didn’t set out to our game plan. We knew they were going to start sharp, start bright and get in our faces and we’d been told so many times and we just didn’t deal with it early on. 

“It’s the poorest we’ve been, obviously, for a while, and we’ll try and rectify it on Saturday. 

“I’ll back our back four against anyone in this league but obviously tonight we made a few mistakes. That’s not just the back four, it’s as a collective. We made mistakes all over the pitch and for all the goals. 

“It’s disappointing because of how our year’s been going defensively, but we’ll try and sort that out on Saturday.”

After January acquisition Yoann Arquin scored a stunning late equaliser following his introduction as a substitute, the former Northampton Town man paid tribute to the Frenchman after being forced to bide his time in recent weeks. 

“To sit on the sidelines for a few weeks and then to come on and put that [in the] ‘top bin’, it shows a lot of character and fair credit to him, I hope he’s happy with himself!

“He deserves the plaudits for saving us. He scored a very similar goal in his trial game that we signed him from, but he’s a great talent to have and hopefully he starts getting some more goals for us."

Supporters can view Lee Collins’ post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD. 



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