Russell Martin felt Portsmouth’s proficiency in the key moments proved the difference in their Sky Bet League One clash at Fratton Park.
Martin’s MK Dons dominated their play-off chasing opponents for most of Tuesday’s contest but saw errors at the back punished as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat – their first loss in six games.
“It's a disappointing result,” Martin said in his post-match press conference. “I'm really proud because we were really good and dominated for most of the game, but my overriding feeling is disappointment.
“To have the possession, territory and chances that we had, is a sign of how far we've come. There was an expectancy here for them to play against a team 18th in the league and beat them easily, but most people here will acknowledge we were dominant.
“It was not a 3-1 game. They were just better in the key moments than we were and we know we need to improve in that area.
“I’m disappointed at the goals we conceded. Not the first one, because that's on me. I'm asking them to play like that and, at some point, it was going to happen. I have to accept that.
“We responded unbelievably well after that and we went in at half time really believing we would win the game. That second goal really disappointed me – it's just not good enough. The ball was hanging in the air and everyone just stopped and let it happen.
“For the third, we'd just thrown everyone forward to get an equaliser. We were down to 10 men, chasing the game, and it is what it is there. I really don't think we deserved to lose 3-1.”
He conclude: “It's a disappointing result, but we're still a work in progress. If we put in another performance like this on Saturday, and improve where we need to, I’m sure will get the result we need.”
The Dons’ disappointment was compounded late on when striker Carlton Morris was a shown a straight red card for a professional foul on John Marquis, who was bearing down on goal.
While Martin had no complaints about the decision, he was appreciative for the effort shown by his striker to prevent the Pompey striker from scoring.
“People may be disappointed he's been sent off, but I was delighted to see him chase 80 yards from a corner to try and get the ball back. It showed his desire and will to win – he's our striker but he's ended up closest to our goal.
“It's a red card, no complaints, and he'll miss one game,” Martin added. “He'll be a miss.”
Russell Martin's MK Dons return to Sky Bet League One action on Saturday when they take on Rotherham United at their AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Tickets are priced at £23 adults, £13 seniors/armed forces members/young adults and £8 juveniles while under-13s tickets are just £1, if bought in advance of the match from MK Dons. Ticket prices will increase on the day at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Official Away Travel is available for this fixture, with coach spaces priced at £18 Season Ticket holders/members and £19 all other supporters. Coaches will depart Stadium MK at 10.30am.
To book tickets/travel click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Tickets/travel will be available to buy from the Box Office until 5pm on Friday.