Karl Robinson admitted he has bigger fish to fry after his MK Dons side were knocked out of the FA Cup for a second time by Chesterfield on Friday night.
Gary Roberts scored the only goal of a drab night at stadium:mk, with neither side taking the game by the scruff of the neck, and neither really looking especially keen to be playing the game at all.
For Robinson, who made sweeping changes to his starting line-up, he admitted his side weren’t at the races, but said going out of the FA Cup isn’t the worst thing to happen.
“We were poor,” he said. “It just wasn’t good enough.
“We’ve got bigger fish to fry, with all due respect. This game shouldn’t have been played, but it looked like we didn’t turn up.
“We approached it in the right way, exactly the same way we usually do. We rested Antony Kay, Carl Baker and Dele Alli, but I did it for the right reasons.
“The players will turn it around for the Crawley game.”
The result is Dons’ second defeat in as many games at stadium:mk - with a 3-0 defeat to Walsall last time out - after a spectacular run of form which has launched them into the breakaway pack at the top of League 1.
But despite conceding four and scoring none in those two games, Robinson believes his side are still in good form, but they haven’t quite had the rub of the green.
He said: “I can’t come out and say we deserved something out of the game tonight because we didn’t. But the same people who said they’d be happy with a top half finish are now expecting us to go out and batter teams every week. We’ve becoming a victim of our own success.
“In the last two games, there has been nothing in them, but we’ve lacked the killer touch. Any ricochet went against us, but maybe we’re going through a dip.
“But at least it hasn’t affected our league run.”
George Baldock, Danny Green and Mark Randall were drafted into the side as Robinson made five changes to his starting line-up, but none of the three have played regular football of late.
Robinson said that their lack of game time recently showed in their first starts for a long time, but also highlighted where he needs to strengthen in the January transfer window.
He said: “We need players in certain areas and that showed tonight - the players who haven’t played regularly looked well off it, but that’s not their fault. They’re still lacking match practice. But the ones who have just sat on their bums recently - George Baldock, Danny Green, Mark Randall - that showed tonight.
“The big teams can go out and spend in January and we need to find out whether we can do that.”