Karl Robinson praised his side for ‘putting on a show’ away at Premier League Sunderland on Tuesday night.
The Dons missed out on a place in the third round of the Capital One Cup courtesy of four well-taken goals in the final 12 minutes from the Premier League Black Cats. The men from MK1 led 2-0 heading into the last quarter but couldn’t see out the game, therefore slipping to their first defeat of the season.
Despite the loss, though, manager Robinson was keen to take the positives from what was a very impressive performance from his young players and build on them ahead of Saturday’s tough League encounter with Sheffield United.
Speaking after the match, the 32-year-old said: “We came here to put a performance on and enjoy it and I felt we did that.
“I think all of our players showed what a unique and attractive style of football we play here. I thought our ball retention was brilliant, but not just that, we played with an energy and consistency and we created chances.
“At this level you can’t leave any spaces or gaps because you’re up against players who have the quality to open you up. However, I thought we defended very well today, especially considering how expansive and free we were going forward.
“This industry, though, is ruthless and the top players can produce moments of brilliance which was exactly the case tonight.
“Still, I think this will help us going forward. We’ll learn from it and move on to Bramall Lane where the road will continue.”
Many eyebrows were raised in the second half when Robinson decided to withdraw impressive striker Patrick Bamford, whose goal had put the Dons one-goal up inside the first ten minutes but the Liverpudlian manager explained his decision following the final whistle.
“I made two substitutions late on with Saturday in mind” he added. “Patrick is suspect to injury if he plays too many full games at a time, so I’d rather him play 90 minutes in the League on Saturday than tonight. I wasn’t even going to play him tonight so I needed to bring him off.”