Paul Tisdale believes his MK Dons side are close to turning their form around, but knows they can’t afford to keep giving themselves uphill battles.
The Dons were beaten 2-1 by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, with two goals in four first-half minutes from the Black Cats enough to inflict a third straight Sky Bet League One loss on Tisdale’s men.
Despite the run of defeats, Tisdale remains upbeat and is confident the results will soon turn in his side’s favour – if, of course, they can stop falling behind in matches.
“We're not far away,” the manager said in his post-match press conference at the Stadium of the Light.
“I'm disappointed [with the results] but I'm fairly chipper about how we're doing. I know we need points, I'm not skirting that, but I'm sure it will come soon.
“We are playing well. There is some match-understanding and knowhow we need to get better at, but we have a lot of young players out there.
“The players are together, determined and they know they're good enough and know it will fall to him soon. They know they have deserved more points recently – what else can I say?”
Reflecting on the Sunderland defeat specifically, Tisdale said: “The second goal was the game changer.
“Having had a good start, where we weren't at all bad in that opening 15 minutes, we conceded a good goal. It was a heck of a strike, lovely control and top-spin on it - Lee couldn't stop it.
“That second one five minutes later was the key blow. As a group, we have to be wiser to those moments, and I question whether we were.
“It was such an uphill task from there but we did so well to get back into it. We had a strong finish and it could so easily have been different.
“Maybe we’re trying too hard [in front of goal] but how do you relax when it's so important. We just need to make sure we don't find ourselves 2-0 down like we did. If it was a goal, we were still in it.”
Paul Tisdale and MK Dons now turn their attentions to the Leasing.com Trophy and Tuesday's visit of Fulham Under-21s to Stadium MK.
Tickets are priced at just £5 adults and £1 under-18s, with seating in the clubRed area of Stadium MK. Please note, there will be no clubRed benefits for this fixture.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343.