Captain Dean Lewington believes he and his team-mates can take plenty of positives from their FA Cup with Budweiser tie against Wigan Athletic, despite not coming away victorious.
MK Dons were beaten 3-1 in extra-time by the Latics on Tuesday night after the two sides, for the second time in ten days, couldn’t be separated after 90 minutes. Unlike that 3-3 draw at DW Stadium, this week’s contest had to be settled on the night and it was the visitors who would take advantage of the additional half an hour of play courtesy of goals from Nick Powell and Marc-Antoine Fortune.
The result means the Dons bow out of the competition at the Third Round stage and miss out on a clash with Premier League side Crystal Palace but, although disappointed, Lewington is remaining positive and is hopeful the team’s impressive showing over the two games can fill the players with confidence heading into the final few months of the season.
Speaking to MK Dons Player after the game, Lewington said: “It’s obviously disappointing because a home tie against Crystal Palace was something to look forward to.
“In the first half we bossed it. We had a few decent chances and I think, looking back, if we’d have taken them and given ourselves that extra goal it might have made a difference. If you look at the 90 minutes and ignore extra-time, we more than held our own and caused them a lot of trouble.
“Wigan are the holders of The FA Cup and they didn’t want to give that up easily so whereas another team may have rolled over, the fact that they were the FA Cup holders might have spurred them on that extra little bit.
“They’re doing great in the Championship and they’re obviously a team full of quality and depth so it shows how well we did to contain them for large parts of the game. It certainly bodes well for us. We’ve been climbing up the League the last few weeks and we’ve started getting some decent results so now we turn our attention fully to that and hopefully we can make the play-offs.”
Tuesday’s game brought in an impressive crowd of 8,316, which proved to be the fifth-highest attendance of the night in the competition; just 2,856 people behind the all-Premier League clash between Fulham and Norwich City.
And Lewington was keen to reserve a special mention for the Dons supporters who turned out despite the less-than-ideal conditions. He added: “(The crowd) were fantastic. I quite like it when they’re all in those little sections because it makes for a better atmosphere.
“It was a good attendance, they made a lot of noise and they stuck with us right until the end. Even after we went 3-1 down not a lot of people left and we obviously appreciate that. Hopefully we’ll get the same next time.”