After picking up his man of the match award, Mansfield Town defender Lee Collins began to prepare for a trip back to his former club Northampton Town with a heavy heart.
Stags drew 0-0 at home to Oldham Athletic in yesterday’s FA Cup first round clash at one Call Stadium with Collins superb alongside Ryan Tafazolli in the heart of defence.
But before the Boundary Park replay on Tuesday week Collins will head back to crisis club Northampton for what could be their last ever game unless they can escape a winding up petition over their finances.
“I’ve had this date on my calendar from the start of the season,” he said.
To read the Oldham match report click HERE
“I’ve got a lot of love for the club. They’re in a bit of a pickle financially which I hope they get out of, but obviously I am a Mansfield player now and I am going there with three points on my mind.
“It is not pretty as the staff, the players, everyone there, the fans, deserve better. I don’t know what’s gone on so I can’t really express my opinion. Something’s not right and I hope it gets fixed for them.”
Mansfield had the better chances against Oldham in yesterday’s exciting tie and Collins said: “We definitely deserved more then that.
“Don’t get me wrong, they had a couple of decent chances but on the whole we had a handful of good chances. I can’t criticise the lads for missing as they have been quality – any other day and it’s a goal.
“I think that was probably our best performance for a while, and we’ve had some really good games recently like Portsmouth away.
“We really bossed that game today.”
With Krystian Pearce now having completed a four-game ban, manager Adam Murray has a headache over which two of his centre halves to pick next weekend.
“Taff has been there all season and been solid, and we’ve got Pearcy on the sidelines as well who is keeping us on our toes,” said Collins.
“There is competition for places and you can’t take it for granted. It’s down to the manager now.”
Murray had to try to pick up his players after the cup tie as they all knew they should have won it and Collins added: “He is brilliant with his man management. He knows how to get each and every player motivated, especially after a loss.
“Some lads need a kick up the backside and some need more of an arm round them. He balances it right. I need a punch!”
Stags now go into tomorrow night’s second round draw and Collins said: “I’ve no preferences. I’d like a home tie, that’s probably as far as I would go.”
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