Boss Karl Robinson claimed his side were ‘unrecognisable’ as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at home Carlisle United, their first defeat at stadiummk this season.
A lacklustre Dons stumbled at MK1 as former Dons forward Lewis Guy returned to haunt his old side with the only goal of the game.
The Dons were left to rue missed chances from Daniel Powell, Jason Banton and Samir Carruthers in the early phases as Guy went on to net the winner and the men from MK1 struggled to create further efforts on target.
Speaking after the game Robinson said: “Our players didn’t step up to the plate. For 25 minutes we dominated that game, we passed it quickly, we had three or four gilt-edged chances that we missed, we can’t keep missing these chances.
“When they scored we turned to a slow, almost paused, way of playing. It was sloppy. We played across the back too much. – we’re a footballing team but we want to play in between the lines, we want to play up and down it. We didn’t get the ball into midfield enough, we had wide players who came in and made things narrow.
“At times I was looking at them and almost not recognising the team – we were slow and sloppy. We should move the ball quickly and purposefully, we didn’t do that we were happy to keep the ball in our defensive third and that is not the way we play; we’re a passing team who try and move the opposition quickly and exploit them in other areas. Today we didn’t do that.”
Robinson didn’t leave the blame solely to his players though, admitting he made an error with his triple substitution, which saw the introduction of Izale McLeod, George Baldock and Luke Chadwick, claiming it lacked the intended impact.
He added: “I made a mistake by making three substitutions, I thought it would have injected speed into the team, we changed the formation which I thought might have galvanised the fans and the players but that didn’t work and we went to a 4-4-2 but we looked very predictable and boring. I do feel for them a little bit because they are missing some key players and if you take five players out of any group they are going to be weakened.
“We huffed and we puffed; in the second half I don’t think we made their ‘keeper make a save, there wasn’t even a chance. It wasn’t good enough; it was a dour night, there was no inspiration and we didn’t hit the ground running.”