Boston Town have today snapped up former tough tackling midfielder Nathan Collins as their new manager.
The Poachers swooped to snap up Collins, who had been working with the youth set up at Grimsby Town, after parting company with managerial duo Ian Dunn and Matt Hocking in the wake of a 12-0 defeat at Spalding United on Tuesday night.
Collins, 40, is thought to have turned down the advances of Grimsby Borough and Brigg Town in the past and according to Town chairman Mick Vines he is looking forward to the ‘good challenge’ of reversing the Poachers’ fortunes.
Mick said he was sad to see Dunn and Hocking depart – and feels they could return to Tattershall Road later in their careers.
He said: “There was nothing wrong with Ian and Matt. I just think the problem for Ian is that he is probably three or four years in front of himself.
“If I was a younger chairman and going to be here for a few years I could expect them to be back here again.
“I got on well with them. There was never any problem, I just think at this level they are a few years ahead of themselves.”
Mick – who was in attendance for the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field defeat – admits that Tuesday’s result hurt him and it was the club’s record defeat that put paid to the managerial duo’s tenure by ‘mutual consent’.
He said he does not blame the pair for the scoreline – and said that at 6pm on Tuesday Town were struggling to be able to field a starting XI through injuries and suspensions.
He told The Standard: “I don’t blame them for Tuesday night – we had seven first teamers out.
“I have been here 25 years and nobody has ever done that to Boston Town. We have never been in the bottom four or five – we are not used to being near the bottom.
“It has hurt. I think after Tuesday night the lads probably thought it was best all round if they called it a day.
“I feel for them. Nobody wants that on their CV, I certainly don’t.”
Collins will be joined by Andrew Liddell, formerly of Scunthorpe United, who will be assistant boss.
He will formally take charge for Tuesday night’s home clash against Yaxley, with Lori Borbely and Ollie Pinner looking after first time affairs for the visit to Wellingborough tomorrow.
Mick says Collins will bring some discipline to the Poachers’ ranks – with a couple of experienced new faces set to join the squad next week.
He added: “He was a hard midfielder. He’s learnt his trade with Grimsby for four to five years.
“He had six or seven years as a player here and is respected. He is well-liked, everybody will like to see him back but then Matt and Ian were well liked too.”
Town are currently second bottom of the UCL Premier, with just one win in the first 12 games.
But the chairman says he is confident that his new man can turn things around and move up the table.
He said: “I still expect to finish mid table. All we need are a couple of experienced heads in there - we have got a good young team.
“We are not a bad side. It’s baffling really. I feel for Matt and Ian, they got a good squad of players together.
“You can’t always blame luck because it has gone on for so long but we are not getting the rub of the green.”
Mick said that even during Tuesday’s defeat there was evidence that the squad has talent - hitting the woodwork and drawing a ‘marvellous’ save during a tight opening 15 to 20 minutes against the big spending league leaders.
He added: “Spalding got us when we were at our lowest ebb. They had everything going for them on Tuesday night.
“They will go the season unbeaten. Good luck to them.
“If most clubs could afford that sort of money then they would pay it. If I won the lottery I would make sure Boston Town were paying that sort of money.”
He says his new boss’ first task will be to try to lift the shell-shocked players in the wake of the Spalding defeat.
He said: “Confidence is a big factor in football. As soon as something goes wrong you can see that their heads are down. He’s got to lift those young lads and if he brings in some quality we will be alright.”
After the Yaxley game the Poachers’ next fixture is the following Tuesday, a mouthwatering home game against Holbeach United.