Karl Robinson believes his squad needs some investment if he’s to take Dons up the table in 2014.
Dons lost their first game in five against Brentford on Sunday, going down 3-1 at Griffin Park bringing to an end their four-game winning streak.
Without Stephen Gleeson, Robinson said he only had 15 fit players to take to the field, but admits the team needs strengthening in January.
“We’ll take some highs out of 2013, but I’m looking forward to 2014. I look forward to taking this club forward, but we have to look at investing and bringing players in if we’re to compete.”
Brentford were ahead after just two minutes after a ‘comedy of errors’ allowed Clayton Donaldson to put the home side ahead, before further strikes from Marcello Trotta and Sam Saunders put the Bees 3-0 up. Lee Hodson pulled one back, but it was too little too late for Dons.
“We had a game plan but we just didn’t start well,” said Robinson. “The first goal was a comedy of errors. It’s the first goal we’ve conceded in five games. But we were poor for an hour, all of us.
“Brentford were sensational and blew us away, but in the last half an hour, we were very, very good.
“That’s how we have been playing. But I’ll walk out of here honest, knowing we deserved nothing out of the match.
“It’s a unique place, but Donaldson is a constant threat, and Saville is a wonderful player. They dictated the play for large parts of that game.”
Despite the defeat though, Robinson believes 2013 has ended well.
He said: “It’s still a good month. If you take that first hour out, we’d be happy. But we need to turn January into a positive month like December was.
“I love playing at this time of year, it’s a wonderful time. But we need to look at how the fixtures are structured.
“It has been a difficult year, I’ve not been able to sign anyone, I’ve not been able to do anything in any transfer window, I’ve basically been left to playing youth team players. It has been a unique experience.
“This year will make us all stronger. But I don’t enjoy it when we’re poor.”
The silver lining for Dons though will be the performance of Dele Alli on his return to first team action, and Robinson was delighted to see him back on the field.
Robinson said: “He ran the game when he came on. He’s 17... It’s great. I love working with him.
“He has been out for four or five weeks and that’s the first game he’s played.
“I’ve not seen a talent like that for many years. Hopefully he doesn’t go in January.”