Karl Robinson admits his side were simply second best to Birmingham City as the Blues won 1-0 at St Andrews on Monday.
Jacques Maghoma scored the only goal of the game just after the hour mark, but in truth Dons were comprehensively out-played by City, who twice hit the woodwork and had a penalty appeal bizarrely turned away.
While Dons have turned in promising performances away from home of late, with nothing to show for it, the show at St Andrews was far from that, according to the boss.
“I have nothing to hold on to,” he said. “We rode our luck today. We just got schooled in every area. The changes we made didn’t work but we didn’t work hard enough ahead of the ball. I felt sorry for Diego Poyet because he didn’t have many options but overall, we were beaten by the better team.
“We just didn’t turn up today. All the changes and all the talking didn’t come to fruition. All the preparation was A1, but certain things happen in the game and it didn’t happen. We looked a bit ragged.
“We should have had a penalty too on Josh Murphy, but I can’t use that as an excuse because it’s equally a penalty from Dean Lewington. But we can’t use any excuses really. We were out-played.”
A spanner was thrown into Robinson’s plans as early as the half hour mark when Daniel Powell pulled his hamstring and had to be replaced.
Robinson said: “Sometimes you get those injuries, but he had our only shot on goal at that stage. So that was a big loss for us.
“From then, I thought we went backwards. I have no words that can defend them sometimes. I’m proud of their efforts, but we just weren’t good today. It was an off day.”
While the Christmas period is beginning to wind down now, the games continue to come thick and fast with a trip to Leeds on January 2 next on the agenda for Dons.
But Robinson says his full focus is on the January transfer window which opens on New Year’s Day.
“The transfer window is more important now,” he said. “We want to bring players in. I want to bring in four, and I know three of them. I’d like to thing they can be brought in.
“The chairman has been great for me, and for him to come out and say what he has last week gives us hope. He’s really fuelled the hope for us and the fans.
“It’s now our job to find the right players to suit the club.”