Russell Martin wasn’t hiding from the fact that Tuesday’s victory over Rochdale was a crucial one for his MK Dons side.
Martin’s men came from behind to beat Dale 2-1 at Stadium MK and move one point behind their rivals in the Sky Bet League One table, while increasing the gap over the bottom three to six points.
“It was a huge game for us,” the Dons manager said in his post-match press conference.
“It was probably our biggest game of our season so far. If they'd have won, they'd have been seven points clear and that's a big gap. We were three points adrift when we took over and we're not there now. We're starting to get in touch with other teams.
“It was a difficult night. I was surprised by our performance in the first half. I spoke of our respect for Rochdale, and they were excellent, but from us, the standards of intensity and performance were nowhere near where we've been and not acceptable.
“The players knew that at half time and it was about getting a reaction from them. To swing momentum in a game is not easy, so I’m extremely proud of the players for doing it.
“We started the second half really well and had numerous chances. We should have scored three or four. I always felt we were going to get another chance and fair play to Rhys to win a penalty and then step up to take it.”
Martin added: “We've got a run of games now where we have to pick up more points. It will be tough, because of the position we're in, but I've got real belief in the players and our structure.”
MK Dons return to Stadium MK action this weekend when they take on Wycombe Wanderers in a Buckinghamshire derby.
Tickets are priced at £22 adults, £17 seniors and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with an accompanying adult. Supporters can upgrade to premium seats in the East Centre for a £5 premium while an upgrade to clubRed is just £10 more.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off from the Box Office.