Karl Robinson took full responsibility for the defeat against Bradford City on Tuesday night, admitting he ‘got it wrong’.
Two defensive mistakes in the first half allowed Aaron McLean and then Billy Clarke to put the visitors into a surprise 2-0 lead, before Dean Lewington pulled one back for the home side.
Robinson made four changes to the side which won so emphatically against Barnsley on Saturday, but started Ben Reeves and Will Grigg - both of whom got on the scoresheet at Oakwell.
The side looked disjointed though and unsure of their roles, unusual for a performance at stadium:mk. And Robinson said he had to take full responsibility for the tactical mistakes.
“It was my fault today,” he said. “For the first 15 minutes, we were sloppy and that was their fault. A set-piece, where we usually pride ourselves, someone didn’t do his job.
“Samir Carruthers gave away a silly foul, Lewie lost the header and George (Baldock) didn’t get back on the post. And then Kay’s error for the second goal.
“But I got it wrong in the second half. It was my fault. I made a change too soon and I narrowed the game. I felt if we got on two strikers, we could challenge them, but I got it massively wrong. I have to take responsibility.”
Asked how long it took before Robinson realised he’d made a mistake in the second period, Robinson said: “After five minutes. I tried to change it back, but there was confusion and a lack of continuity. I stunted the flow of the game.
“I stopped our team playing today, so I need to take a long look at myself tonight. I have to bear the burden this time.
“The subs who came on didn’t affect the game either. When you put Bowditch or Afobe on, you expect them to change the game. But they just didn’t fire.”
Robinson was sent to the stands during the second period after he exchanged words with a Bradford defender, which referee Andre Marriner took exception to, forcing the Dons boss to watch the remainder of the game from the Director’s Box.
He explained: “Supposedly, I said something derogatory to one of their players. I didn’t think it was too bad, but he thinks I’ve said something else. I’ll have to see what the report says.
“I was shocked. And apparently I man-handed the assistant referee but I was stood a way away from him.”
While Dons slipped to fourth in the table as a result of the defeat, with Chesterfield leaping them in the standings, Robinson is hopeful that a win on Saturday against Crewe will put them right again.
He said: “If we win on Saturday, we’re back to two points per game, and it emphasises the win last Saturday.
“It has been a good start to the season, but we’ve got to dust ourselves down now and we’ve got a big game on Saturday.”