George Baldock knows he and his MK Dons team-mates will be read the riot act by manager Karl Robinson this week after the catastrophic 3-2 defeat to Northampton on Sunday.
Dons were 3-0 inside 27 minutes as Harry Beautyman, Alex Revell and Matt Taylor hit the net. Despite goals from Dean Bowditch and a stoppage time strike from Samir Carruthers, it could have been worse for Dons had David Martin not been on top form, saving Taylor’s penalty and making another fine stop from Brandon Moloney.
READ MORE: REPORT: Northampton 3-2 MK Dons
For the first time since the season opener, Dons are without a game on Tuesday, but full back Baldock isn’t expecting a relaxed atmosphere when the players return to training this week.
He said: “The gaffer is going to get into us in the next week to say the least, and he’s going to read out the harsh realities because that’s what we need.
“If any of the boys aren’t hurting over this, they need to look at themselves. The gaffer wants us to hurt. It’s not like we’ve got a Tuesday game to quickly get over it. We have to go and seriously look at ourselves and ask what we’re doing wrong.
“We need a togetherness, we just need to be more horrible. Sometimes we think it’s too easy without the ball.
“We’re as angry and hurt as the fans. The league won’t wait for MK Dons, we need to step up. I know it’s early days, but I don’t like that expression. We have to put it right. We’re into September now, we need to start kicking on.”
Five times in nine matches this season, Dons have fallen two goals or more behind in the first half of games, but on two occasions - against Newport County and Millwall - they managed to overturn that. However, that luck has distinctly worn off and despite netting twice at Sixfields, were given the defeat they deserved for their opening half performance.
“We’re giving ourselves a mountain to climb,” said Baldock. “And that’s an understatement today (against Northampton. “It’s inexcusable - we have to work harder. We need to be more ruthless. We’ve only got ourselves to blame.
“We have to be more horrible. When the ball went into the box, we’ve got to be horrible. People are quick to say how ruthless you have to be in front of goal, but you’ve got to be the same at the other end too.
“We’ve scored two goals away from home and we’ve come away with no points. We need to put this right quickly.”