KARL Robinson blasted his side after the disappointing 3-1 defeat at Oldham saw Dons drop into the bottom half of League 1.
Individual errors cost Dons all three goals at Boundary Park as Dons slumped to their third defeat in a week.
Robinson said Oldham’s work ethic was simply better than his side’s.
“I’ve had 150 games in charge and I’ve never had to apologise to the chairman before, and I just have for that group of players,” he said. “And I’ll apologise to the fans too, because that wasn’t acceptable.
“They know what I think of them, but they know where they went wrong today. It’s time to stand up and be counted.
“It was poor from every angle and I cannot defend it.
“It doesn’t take someone who is qualified to come in here today and tell you what was wrong. Someone who has never been to a game before will say the blue team worked harder than the white team. That’s how basic it was.”
Dean Lewington’s mistake cost Dons the opening goal after 22 minutes. Failing to fully clear, Lee Croft was able to pick out Lee Barnard to score the opener.
And Robinson blasted the mistake as ‘stupid’ afterwards.
“There’s playing football, and there’s playing stupid. We like to play out, and we won’t ever change that, but playing two vs two in the corner? That’s not football. It was stupid.
“The game plan before kick off was, that with their new manager, they’d play a high line, so we couldn’t play out, but they didn’t do what they were told. I’ll take responsibility for it, but they need to as well.”
Pointing at the second goal, a free header for Jean-Yves M’Voto to make it 2-1, Robinson added: “The way we marked is normally right, but for some reason, we let the biggest man on the pitch get a free run.”
Thew silver lining for Dons fan might be the return of Luke Chadwick, who came on at half time.
But Robinson said he was embarrassed that player who hasn’t played for nearly two months can have such a huge effect on his side’s performance.
“Luke Chadwick was a catalyst. And that’s embarrassing – someone who has been out for so long comes on and makes such a difference.
“I thought Chicksen did well, Shaun Williams did well, I thought Izale made a difference but missed his chance. He needs a goal because he snatched at it, but as long as he keeps getting chances.
“It was far from acceptable, and we didn’t work hard enough.
“We have to work hard. I’ve never met a successful person who can rely on ability alone. There’s a work ethic for successful people. They know they need to work harder.
“I don’t think I can defend them as a manager today.”