Dons regressed at Newport - Poole
Regan Poole felt MK Dons played like they had done 'weeks ago' in a dreadful first half performance in the 3-0 defeat to Newport on Tuesday night.
Russell Martin made seven changes to his starting line-up for the Leasing.com Trophy clash at Rodney Parade, and saw his side concede three goals in the opening 35 minutes to end their cup campaign before the interval.
Poole, who was making his return to Rodney Parade after making his professional debut there felt Dons let themselves down in the first half.
He said: "We've improved massively in the last couple of games, but in that first half, we conceded goals we were conceding weeks ago. If we can cut them out, we'll progress up the league and we will all feel a bit more confident.
"We conceded three sloppy goals. We improved massively in the second half, when we got on the ball we started to play our football but when you concede three goals like that, it limits your chances of winning the game."
Poole was one of Dons' better performers in the game, particularly in the second period as he floated inside from right back and, along with substitutes Alex Gilbey and Rhys Healey, came close to pulling one back for the visitors with a shot just wide of the mark.
"I enjoyed getting on the ball and trying to make things happen," he said. "It was tough though, being three goals down, but we tried to get one to get back into the game. It didn't come though. If we'd have hit the net, I think we could have gone on and got a few more.
"I tried giving it everything. When you're 3-0 down, you need a couple of people to try and get a few shots away, lifting everyone and getting a bit of confidence in the rest of the lads. I think I did that. We were brave, we got on the ball, we tried getting on the ball and it was a creditable performance in the second half.
"(The Newport fans) have always been great to me here, and I wouldn't be where I am today without them, so I thank every one of them – the reception they gave me was great."