Karl Robinson admitted his side were ‘horrendous’ in the 2-0 defeat at home to Bristol City on Saturday.
In a game void of much quality or excitement, Jonathan Kodjia’s double either side of half time were the only shots on target as the Robins edged their way away from the Championship drop zone, leaving Dons still looking over their shoulders.
“We were very poor in the first half and horrendous for large parts,” admitted the Dons boss afterwards. “We were unrecognisable. We looked an absolute shambles in some areas.
“But in fairness, Bristol City were equally poor in the first half. The first half was as bad a half as I’ve seen all season. There were only two shots on target in the whole game. That’s how bad the game was.
“We played too many stupid hoofs up the pitch. But you get days like that. Everyone was off it today. We worked hard all week, but for whatever reason, nothing was right.
“We’re gutted, obviously, but the mentality has to improve.
“We can’t take anything from that game. I’m not angry with them, I’m just upset.”
Even without Kodjia’s opener, which came on the stroke of half time, Dons failed to threaten Richard O’Donnell’s goal. With none of the attacking quartet, which included former City players Nicky Maynard and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, able to find their feet during the game, Robinson felt it was the worst he’d seen many of them in MK Dons shirts.
He said: “Josh Murphy, Nicky Maynard, Rob Hall all put in their worst performances in MK Dons shirts. Jay wasn’t the only player to have a bad day. If he was, we’d probably have won.
“All of our front four were below par. But our defending was rash and open too. But I can’t point the finger at one person.”
The nature of the defeat was as disappointing as the defeat itself, undoing so much of the good work Dons had done against Cardiff, Middlesbrough and Derby in their previous fixtures.
But a late QPR equaliser against Bolton meant Dons remained five points clear of the relegation zone, and that is about the only solace Robinson can take from the day.
“We’re not nearer to the bottom three - we’re still five points from the drop zone. I don’t care about Bristol City moving away, I only care about the bottom three not getting closer. But if we continue to play like that, we’ll be below it very quickly.
“Everyone came here off the back of Middlesbrough and Derby expecting us to win. But moping won’t help, we have to get back on the horse.”