Karl Robinson felt Dons should have gone on to win the game at Deepdale after twice fighting back to draw 2-2.
After an Antony Kay own goal put Preston ahead, Jason Banton’s wonder goal to equalise was short-lived when Jon Otsemobor dallied on the ball to allow Joe Garner to put Preston 2-1 up before the break.
But Shaun Williams’ penalty got Dons back in it, and the visitors had the better of the chances to go on and win it late in the day.
The Dons boss felt his side should have gone on to win it too.
“I thought we deserved more than we got,” he said afterwards. “To come here and put in a performance like that, to me, was really good. It was a statement of intent. The fans witnessed a young, youthful MK Dons side.”
After glowing starts to the season by Dele Alli and Patrick Bamford, neither looked at their best in the first half in particular as Dons struggled to make inroads into the Preston defence.
Alli was replaced 10 minutes into the second half as part of a triple substitution which also saw George Baldock and Banton withdrawn.
But Robinson refused that 17-year-old Alli was a little out of his depth against an experienced North End side.
He said: “When he was on it, he looked good. He looked tired. He’s a special talent, but bad games are part of the industry. But we have to make sure he does the right think.
“Him, Jason and George (Baldock) looked tired so I had to make the changes. I didn’t think those three weer contributing as much. We went up another gear when they came on.”
Arguably, both Preston’s goals came from Dons mistakes - the first when Williams slipped in intercepting a through-ball, and the other when Otsemobor’s back pass was short.
Robinson admitted: “It is frustrating, but we’re all human. They weren’t from playing out from the back. The second goal came against the run of play, when Otsemobor should have given it to Potter but dallied on it.
“But to come here and go down twice, to fight back and get it back to 2-2 and we should have won it with Stephen Gleeson, Patrick Bamford and Izale McLeod - we had a lot of chances.”
Banton’s equaliser, a rocket from 35 yards, was his second in four games for the club. And with his assist against Crewe he has had a great impact since joining on loan from Crystal Palace.
But his manager, who was the first man Banton ran to in celebration of his goal, admitted he needs to see more of him in matches.
Robinson said: “It was a wonder goal from Jason. It’s about time he livened up!
“I see glimpses of him in training which are unstoppable, and I see glimpses in games which are unacceptable.
“He’s got a long way to go, and I think the world of him. I think he’s got phenomenal potential. In the last four games, he has been a difference in three. It was a wonder strike.”
Dons fans also cast their eyes over Samir Carruthers for the first time too, as he made a big impression by winning the second half penalty.
“He’s one of our players,” said Robinson. “Our players are becoming more obvious on the eye to fans. People recognise which players can fit in with us. He’s our style of player.”