The players have their sights set on bouncing back against Notts County on New Year’s Day after their disappointing defeat to Coventry, says Adam Chicksen.
Dons’ performance against the Sky Blues was infinitely better than in their Boxing Day defeat to Walsall three days earlier, but the result was ultimately the same – a third loss in four games.
In a frank interview from Karl Robinson after the 4-2 defeat to Walsall, the Dons boss admitted that changes needed to be made to avoid falling further behind the League 1 leaders.
And while the team put in a much improved display in their following defeat to in-form Coventry, the players were left shell-shocked by a five minute spell at the beginning of the second half which saw the visitors overturn Dons’ 2-1 half time advantage to make it 2-3.
“The lads are gutted,” said Chicksen afterwards. “We knew we had to step it up from the last game and we did that. I thought we reacted well and put in a first half performance that we wanted.
“But two goals in just a few minutes didn’t help us, but we reacted well and that’s what the fans saw.
“But it’s a long season and games come thick and fast at this time of year, and we just have to look to the next one.
“The Notts County game is the one we hope we can turn it around from the two losses. If you beat them away from home, we can kick on again.
“I think all the lads are looking forward to another game in a few days and if we do it, we can push on.”
The disappointment of recent weeks has been further compounded by the double-loss of Stephen Gleeson and Luke Chadwick, who have been ruled out for the foreseeable future. Robinson is keen to bolster his squad, but Chicksen doesn’t think the team are struggling for strength in depth.
“They’re great players so it’s a big blow to lose them, but as a team we’ve got a good enough squad to cope with it,” he said.
“With the last two results, it looks like we can’t, but the lads are all working hard in training and we’re still looking for wins. We’re not going to fall down.”
Chicksen added that he also had a few words of advice for Dele Alli ahead of the biggest game of his career so far. The 16-year-old had a torrid time keeping tabs on the lively Franck Moussa, but showed a level head for someone with so few games under his belt.
Chicksen said: “I sat down with him before the game. I told him to relax, and do what he does best. He’s a good player so I hope he keeps progressing.
“It was a massive learning curve for him, but I got my chance at a similar age. Days like these make you a better player.”