Alex Gilbey says Dons are nearly on the brink of great things, but are falling short at key moments.
Two goals in four minutes at the Stadium of Light saw Sunderland snag victory over Dons, who suffered their fourth defeat in a row, going down 2-1. Max Power and Luke O'Nien netted for the Black Cats in the first half, leaving Dons with a mountain to climb in the second period.
In an otherwise balanced affair, Jordan Bowery bundled the ball over the line 10 minutes into the second half to get a lifeline, but ultimately Dons could not find an equaliser as they fell to their fourth straight loss - the third in the league - though they remain 15th.
"Maybe we're a nearly team at the moment," said Gilbey. "We're doing a lot of good work, good build-up, nearly score, nearly have a chance. I think we have to stick with it, listen to the manager and we'll be OK.
"We're not worried, or scared. We've got to keep pushing, and with the manager's guidance, we will be a top team and looking up instead of down.
"It was a lot better than against Southend. It was a mad five minutes, two preventable goals, it was a hell of a strike from the lad, but we could have done things to prevent that. Same with the second. But we've matched a good Sunderland side here, so I think we have a chance.
"It was those crazy five minutes – we cannot concede and then again as quickly as we did, it killed the game off.
"We did OK today, we were unlucky not to nick one at the end, but we have keep the ball better, be braver on the ball, especially when we are under the cosh in the first half.
"There are positives to take. We aren't trying to think about losses because that puts pressure on us, but we have to keep performing like we have today, cut out those five minute periods and we will have a really good chance."