Individual and team errors cost us - Lewington

Dean Lewington disappointed with Dons' defensive performance against Walsall. Pic: Tom Blackman
Dean Lewington disappointed with Dons' defensive performance against Walsall. Pic: Tom Blackman

DONS aired a few home truths after Boxing Day’s 4-2 defeat at home to Walsall according to skipper Dean Lewington.

After a ‘shocking’ first half performance, Dons trailed 3-2. While the second half display was much-improved, it wasn’t enough to nick a goal back. And Patrick Bamford’s late injury meant the home side had to see out the remaining 10 minutes a man down, allowing Walsall to put the final nail into the coffin in stoppage time.

Lewington said: “It was pretty shocking really. After 10 minutes, we were 1-0 up, but it was a shocking performance after that.

“We have played a lot worse than that in the past, sometimes we’ve been horrendous, but this team doesn’t do what we did here. And that’s the disappointing thing.

“We were in it at 3-2 and still creating chances, but losing Patrick (Bamford) at the end and going down to 10 men killed it a bit. But our first half performance as bad as it was, we left ourselves such a mountain to climb.

“It would be nice to make an excuse but unfortunately, it was just a bad team performance and quite a lot of bad individual performances and it all went wrong. It started with individual mistakes and errors.

“Personally, it was the worst I’ve played in years. I don’t think many will come away from the game and say they’ve done well.

“We defend as a team, and we take the plaudits as a team. So when you lose and concede four goals, it’s not just about the back four, but the emphasis is on us and we need to look at what we did wrong. But as a whole team, we were nowhere near it.

“The goals highlighted Matty (Mathias Doumbe) a bit more, but myself and Antony Kay are equally to blame. It would be harsh to blame anyone in particular, it was just a disappointing display.

“There were chances given to a few players who hadn’t been playing much recently and it just didn’t happen for anyone.”

The captain admitted that manager Karl Robinson’s team talk was an emotional affair, and that the players were brutally honest with each other come the full-time whistle.

But he assured the fans who left stadium:mk questioning the players’ dedication that it will be put right ahead of the Coventry clash on Saturday.

He said: “The half time team talk was quite lively, and at the end he’s told us what for but as players we are equally as disappointed. Sometimes you need something like this, and you can a few home truths out of the way and tell people what needs to be told. We will see what the reaction is against Coventry.

“Sometimes you can play badly and win, it will hide things, but today it really highlighted where we are falling down. We need to correct it and get back to where we were. It won’t be pretty viewing to watch it back but we will go through it, improve and work out what went wrong.

“The pleasing thing is the isn’t a lot of time before the next game. After a bad performance, you want to bounce back and correct it as quick as you can so it’s a bit of a blessing to have a game in two days.”