Karl Robinson felt Ryan Lowe’s sending off changed the game after he saw his side fell to a 3-0 defeat to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Dons striker was shown a straight red a minute before half-time following a dangerous tackle on Cherries defender Tommy Elphick and his dismissal played a key role in Eddie Howe’s team’s convincing victory, as the men from MK1 slip to 10th in League 1.
Bournemouth took a 9th minute lead courtesy of Lewis Grabban’s strike, but Robinson felt his side always looked capable of overturning the Cherries’ lead up until Lowe’s dismissal. To make matters worse, Marc Pugh doubled the visitors’ tally on the stroke of half-time and made the Dons’ challenge all-the-more difficult.
Speaking about the disappointing afternoon, Robinson said: “Ryan’s let everybody down; it’s as simple as that. We’ve had situations like this in the past, and I believe that if you do something against this Football Club then you’ve got to take it like a man and he did that by deciding to do the press. We all have moments of madness, we all do silly things but he’s let us down and that’s all I need to say on the matter.
“The game definitely hinged on the sending off as I thought we were the better team before that. There were one or two silly individual errors today but overall, as a whole, not one person shirked a tackle, nobody shirked responsibility and we arguably had the better chances and we were the better team in the first half.
“We had two choices at half time. We could have sat back in the second half and kept it at two-nil but I felt the fans would have been disappointed and I didn’t want to leave anything in the tank. We wanted to have a right good go and that’s what happened.
“I thought both Darren Potter and Shaun Williams were outstanding today. They didn’t deserve to be on the losing team and that’s the real disappointing thing.
“We’re still without Stephen Gleeson, Patrick Bamford, Daniel Powell, Luke Chadwick, Antony Kay and Gary MacKenzie. They had a full strength side today while we had five or six key players out and I still think we put on a performance. Yes, we were beaten 3-0 but for large parts I thought we were the better team.
“If we’d have been better with our finishing, Otsemobor didn’t make his mistake and Lowe didn’t get sent off it might have been different. We’ll come back stronger from this.”
Bournemouth’s victory was made an emphatic one with a late Harry Arter free-kick and the result kept the Dons 13 points behind Doncaster Rovers in second-place, but a defiant Robinson refused to give up on automatic promotion spot with 19 games still to go.
“How many points are we behind automatic promotion? How many games have we got left? I’m not letting it go, trust me. We’ve had a ridiculous year, with sending’s off and big injuries and we have had a makeshift side for most of this season but I’m not going to stop. Until it’s mathematically, impossible I’ll still believe.”