Karl Robinson blasted his MK Dons side as ‘shambolic’ during the 1-0 defeat against Chesterfield on Saturday, but was willing to let them off the hook.
Dons’ FA Cup campaign came to an end at the second round stage when Armand Gnanduillet’s header eight minutes into the second half beat David Martin to give the Spirites a spot in the third round draw.
But after seven games unbeaten, and the last defeat coming to Sheffield United in the Capital One Cup, Robinson said he couldn’t be too angry at his players.
“It was shambolic,” he said, describing the performance. “Really poor. We just weren’t good enough. We had a lot of players not here, and three players ill. But all over the field, Chesterfield had more energy, more quality in the final third, and we were lucky to only lose 1-0.
“The players have been magnificent in the last two months, so an off day out of the last 10, 11 matches isn’t too bad. And our off days have been in Cup competitions.
“I don’t think any player can come out of the game with any credit today.
“Their keeper didn’t make any saves which is unlike us at stadium:mk, we looked dull, we didn’t win any second balls and set pieces were diabolical. We were far from our best.
“The players looked lethargic and by far second best in every aspect.
“But can you really hang the players out to dry after the way they’ve played recently? I think I can let them off.”