Karl Robinson has refused to see the 2-2 draw with Rochdale as an opportunity missed, despite feeling his MK Dons side should have won at stadium:mk.
Danny Green’s equaliser six minutes from time spared Dons’ blushes after dominating for much for the game, only to find themselves 2-1 down with 14 minutes to go.
Will Grigg put Dons into 19th minute lead, but it would last barely 60 seconds as Tom Flanagan put into his own net.
Reuben Noble-Lazarus thought he’d won it with a screamer from 20 yards before Green’s equaliser earned Dons a point as they used up one of their games in hand.
“I think we did enough to win the game,” he said. “We missed a lot of chances. We made substitutions that didn’t make a massive impact, but Green came on and scored.
“We’ve used the one game in hand to move a point closer. If we hadn’t got the point, we’d be much more disappointed. I remember Shrewsbury last year, and Gillingham before that, when we’ve been so dominant and lost. I’ll use past experiences to move forward, and it’s important that we learn.
“We worked hard tonight, but it was really positive. I can’t fault them. In the first half I can, but in the second we can’t.
“It’s an A for effort, but C for attainment. We worked our socks off. We weren’t great, but we weren’t bad and we haven’t lost at home. I think that’s fair.
“We weren’t as fluent or pleasing on the eye as we have been.”
It was a frustrating first half for the home supporters. While Dale were only level courtesy of an own goal, they marginally edged proceedings - something which Robinson recognised at the break.
He said: “One or two players weren’t in the races in the first half.
“Rochdale didn’t have a shot on goal in the first half and yet it was 1-1. And their only other shot on target was their goal.
“We looked edgy at the back with the chances we made, but they were forced. We can’t use that as an excuse though.
“In the first half, we looked tentative, we should have been dominant. We have been very consistent with our back four and our two defensive midfielders and that’s the way we like it.
“The negatives will be that we had a tentative spell. But people don’t show Rochdale enough respect. They’re a very good side with some good results on the road.”
Robinson though heaped praise on striker Grigg, whose deft chip put Dons into the lead.
Grigg hadn’t scored since early October, but showed no signs of ring rust with his finish, and could have added a second with a header in the second half which forced Rochdale keeper.
And Robinson felt his striker was the stand-out player and praised his patience in recent weeks while Benik Afobe has been given his chance in the starting line-up.
“I thought Will Grigg’s movement, work ethic and the way he took his goal was fantastic,” he said.
“Whenever one of them plays, they score. These two know what they’re doing. They know what’s happening in the next game. To score the amount of goals they have is phenomenal.”