Russell Martin was pleased to see his MK Dons side book their place in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup despite his frustrations at the lack of cutting edge in the final third against Eastleigh.
Despite enjoying over 70 per cent of the possession and registering 14 shots on goal, the Dons were held to a goalless by the Blues for 120 minutes, needing penalties, in the end, to secure their passage through to round two.
Ultimately, that’s all that matters to Martin & Co, although the boss would have preferred to see the controlling performance rewarded with a victory in regulation time.
“I'm pleased to go through, and overall I'm pleased with the performance, but I'm frustrated with one aspect and that's the final third,” Martin said in his post-match interview with iFollow MK Dons.
“It never turned into a proper cup game. We controlled and dominated which isn't easy against lower league opposition.
“We created lots, looked dangerous but we just need to find that conviction to go and score a goal.
“Where I'm frustrated, is moments where the ball comes across the face of goal and there's no-one there to tap it in. I feel like we're trying to score the perfect goal at the moment - we need to be uglier and willing to be as brave as we are at the back.”
Martin continued: “I think we're all a bit deflated and I should feel better than I do about going through but we are through and that's the most important thing.
“These ties can be really difficult - a lot of teams fell to lower league opposition and we avoided that at a tough place to come.
“We kept another clean sheet as well and we're four unbeaten. We have to keep that rolling now.”
The manager also had a word for Sunday’s opponents, Eastleigh, who battled for 120 minutes to frustrate the Dons.
“They were really good,” Martin said. “They were really disciplined and although they got tired towards the end, they worked so hard. I wish them all the best this season.”
Russell Martin's MK Dons now turn their attention to the Papa John's Trophy and Wednesday's tie with Southampton Under-21s at Stadium MK.
The Dons need a point to secure top spot in Southern Group C, after already securing their place in the knockout stages of the competition.
Due to the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions, the tie will take place behind closed doors but fans will be able to watch the match courtesy of an iFollow MK Dons Video Match Pass.
With an iFollow MK Dons Video Match pass, you will be able to watch Martin's side in action on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device! Want to watch on your tablet or mobile device? Download the new EFL iFollow App and watch on the go, wherever you are!
To purchase a £10 Video Match Pass, click HERE and select Buy A Video Match Pass. Then simply log in to your iFollow MK Dons account and follow the instructions or register for an account, which can be done for free.