MK Dons must learn lessons from Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Crewe Alexandra, says manager Russell Martin.
Two goals in the space of seven first-half minutes, and very little thereafter, saw Martin’s Dons beaten 2-0 by the Railwaymen in Cheshire, as his side fell to back-to-back Sky Bet League One defeats.
While keen not to get too downbeat this early in the campaign, Martin still wasn’t going making excuses for a below-par afternoon’s work.
“I’m not going to overreact and get too emotional about it but I won’t dress it up either - it was a really bad day,” Martin said in his post-match press conference. “We’ve let ourselves down because we’re miles better than that.
“It was a different challenge for us but we’d prepared for it and that’s the most frustrating thing - we had a good week of training and we’d worked really hard on certain things but just didn’t see it on the pitch.
“We started well for 10 minutes. We felt really comfortable, kept the ball in their final third really well and looked dangerous. Then they scored and we weren’t very good for the rest of the first half.
“We didn’t deal well enough with the setback, conceding way too close to the first goal which made it a difficult game from there. When things aren’t going our way, we need to find it within ourselves as a group to be better and stronger.
“We also need to stop conceding goals first. Goals change games and we make it a difficult for ourselves then having trying to break teams down and, when we push forward, leaving ourselves more vulnerable than we’d like to.
“In the second half we were better but we didn’t look threatening enough and still conceded too many chances.
“I’m not going to get caught up in the possession because I expect us to dominate the ball most weeks. In the last two weeks, we’ve had far superior possession but we’ve had more shots, more chances, and more touches in the final third and if you consistently hit those levels, you’ll win more games than you don’t. Today, we’ve probably lost in all of those.”
He added: “In the first two games, we didn’t get what we deserved but, today, we got exactly what we deserved. We got outplayed.
“We need to make sure it doesn’t happen again and we need to learn lessons and be better from it.
“We’ve got another tough challenge next week but we need to follow this up with a good performance and a result.”
Russell Martin's MK Dons will look to bounce back this Saturday when they take on Ipswich Town at Stadium MK.
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