Michael Collins thought Oxford United should have done more to hold on for a point as they conceded a late goal to lose 2-1 at Mansfield Town.
The misfiring visitors were handed a lifeline 11 minutes from time, when Danny Hylton won and converted a penalty to make it 1-1.
Buoyed by the goal, United went in search of a winner, but were instead stung by Adam Murray’s 88th-minute strike.
For Collins, it was a point squandered.
He said: “I just believe through experience that sometimes when you’re away from home and not playing your best, when you’ve got a point in your hand with five minutes to go it’s a case of shutting up shop.
“That’s what we should’ve done, but there was a bit of inexperience and their lad sneaks in. All we can do is learn from it.”
United came into the game in a high after winning at League One side Bristol City in the Capital One Cup four days earlier.
Collins was well aware the game at Field Mill was going to be in stark contrast, but was disappointed the side were unable to find a way to play their game.
The midfielder said: “We played some really good football (at Bristol City), but League Two doesn’t allow you to do that.
“It’s an unforgiving league and there are some horrific games to be battled out.
“This was one of them and unfortunately we’ve come out second best.”
He added: “The gaffer will continue to tell us to play in the right way and we have to believe it will come, starting Tuesday (at Morecambe).”
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest United news:
12:00pm Friday 28th August 2015
JOSH Ruffels believes the increased competition in midfield has made him a better player, even though he is not getting in the side.
9:30am Friday 28th August 2015
ALEX MacDonald is working on making improvements in his game after admitting he is suffering a frustrating start to the season with Oxford United.
9:20am Friday 28th August 2015
ON the final whistle tomorrow Oxford United will know without consulting the league table whether they are ahead of schedule, or playing catch-up.
9:00am Friday 28th August 2015
OXFORD United are cautiously optimistic ahead of the results from a scan on Sam Long’s injured ankle today.
8:00am Friday 28th August 2015
OXFORD United supporters are being encouraged to dig out shirts from the back of their wardrobe to take part in retro day.