Barnsley were ‘nowhere near good enough’ in their 5-1 home thrashing to Lincoln City on Saturday – their heaviest ever defeat at Oakwell in the third tier.

The Reds were 1-0 down at half-time then conceded twice early in the second half before the visitors added two more either side of an Adam Phillips strike.

Collins told the Chronicle: “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out we had the majority of our team, maybe all of our team, way below the standards they have set. I should stress the players have been fantastic this season but today we made individual basic errors that were capitalised on by a very good side on good form.

“There were a lot of points in the game when we were in it, looked like we would get back in it and be the dominant force. But you make mistakes and you take it out of your hands.

“You just can’t legislate at 1-0 down to make the mistakes we did for the second and third goal.

“It’s hard to watch. I’m part of it. We need to work out why we made those mistakes. Lincoln were good but we made it an awful lot easier for them.”

Captain Jordan Williams said: “It was very tough. We were well below par today. It wasn’t one or or two people. A lot of us were nowhere near good enough. We gave every goal to them. I can’t explain why and I didn’t expect it. When we turned the ball over they punished us.

"We have to park it up because we have another game on Tuesday at Carlisle and we need to give the fans something to cheer. It’s hard not to get caught up in the scoreline but we have to just put it right. We have bounced back well this season and we need to do it again.

“There are a lot of points up for grabs. Losing today isn’t going to define our season. I don’t think it’s ended our (automatic) promotion fight.”

The majority of fans left before full-time, while Barnsley are now five points off the top two.

Collins said: “It’s a tough day for everyone. We wanted three points to continue our charge up the league. The fans will be as disappointed as we are. It’s only three points. The scoreline makes it feel worse but we have to make it up somewhere down the line and repay the fans. We need to regroup to go again on Tuesday.”

Collins added: “We’ve put ourselves in a great position. Today’s result makes it a little bit tougher but doesn’t massively change it.”

Donovan Pines was injured and replaced in the 11 by Jamie McCart. Collins said: “Donovan picked up a knock in the first half against Bolton on Tuesday. He got through the game but wasn’t ready for today.

"He’s been excellent but Jamie is probably the one player I would give pass marks to. He did good things but the people around him didn’t help.

“Of course we missed Donovan but Jamie has been excellent as well. If Donovan played and the other eight or nine played like they did, it probably wouldn’t have made much difference.

“We will assess Donovan and take it day by day.”

Why did Collins take off Herbie Kane and John McAtee early in the second half?

“It goes without saying we weren’t playing well. We had to make changes and those (Sam Cosgrove and Conor Grant) were the two players I wanted to bring on. I could have taken many people off. We needed Sam who had a positive impact. Conor Grant has been excellent. We took off those two lads because when you’re making subs you need to take someone off. I wanted to freshen it up.”

He added: “We have had a lot of the same players play a lot of the games and maybe it took its toll today. I have to consider if I could have made more changes.”