Manager Karl Robinson admits his side deserved their 2-0 defeat to Leyton Orient on Saturday afternoon.
Goals from O’s duo Gary Sawyer and Kevin Lisbie inside the final ten minutes condemned the Dons to their first loss in five, a result which sees them remain four points adrift of the play-offs with only three games left to go.
And when speaking to the media after the match, Robinson refused to make any excuses in a frank assessment of his team’s performance.
The Dons boss said: “We deserved to get beat two-nil. We were poor today and I can’t make any excuses because, as a group, we just weren’t good enough.
“I can’t put my finger on why. The preparation has been the same, as it always is, but today it looks like we stopped doing what we do best and I’m frustrated because we’ve been playing so well recently.
“Unlike against Shrewsbury, when we were by far the better team, and unlike the defeat to Crewe, where we just weren’t at the races for half an hour, today we weren’t good enough for the full 90 minutes and I can’t defend myself or the players after that. It’s unacceptable.
“It’s difficult to take because we’d put ourselves in a wonderful position with recent results and we had chances to win it today, which adds to the frustration.
“We were second best all over the park and, although, I’m not questioning the players’ effort, Orient just worked a lot harder than us. To be fair they didn’t play in the week while we’ve been playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday over the course of the last few weeks but I expected a lot more from my team today.”
The Dons, though, have a chance to bounce-back on Tuesday evening when they travel to Essex to take on Colchester United at Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Victory over the U’s could see the Dons revitalize their play-off push and manager Robinson is fully aware his side must take maximum points from Joe Dunne’s outfit if they are to keep their promotion hopes alive.
“If the team don’t bounce-back then they’ll find themselves finishing in mid-table, which isn’t acceptable.
“Our target is 73 points and so it’s still possible to achieve what we want to achieve, but we’re not hiding from the fact that if we would have won today we would be in a much stronger position, with both Tranmere losing and Swindon losing. We could have been right in the mix tonight, so I’m disappointed.”