Karl Robinson cut a frustrated figure on Tuesday night after the 10 men of Huddersfield Town snatched a late equaliser to draw 1-1 at stadium:mk.
Nahki Wells capitalised on some slack defending with five minutes to go to cancel out Alex Revell’s first half header, sharing the spoils.
Robinson’s side have now thrown away six points from winning positions late on against Leeds, Middlesbrough and now Huddersfield, while they were level with Derby until the 90th minute and went on to lose.
But their late lapses in concentration are down to nervousness, according to the manager.
“We looked so nervous in the second half,” said Robinson. “We were smashing things long, and that’s completely different to the way we played in the first half. We just looked nervous. And unless you’ve been in that position, you’ll find it hard to believe that.
“I’m absolutely gutted with our performance in the second half. I tried everything I could to sway the game, but we just looked so edgy.
“Once the man got sent off, we let them back in. We almost stopped doing our jobs and we became scrappy. It’s so hard as a manager to change things, but we just couldn’t change that nervous mentality.
“We’ve got to find a way of negating our nervous energy and playing with less freedom, which is difficult to do.”
But while the frustration was still raw, Robinson pointed to the ever-growing gap between them and the relegation zone, which now stands at six points as a result of the draw.
He said: “We’ve moved a point further away from the relegation zone - it’s a point in the right direction. I’ll bet any of the teams in the bottom three would love that point now. I’m sorry if it’s a positive spin on a negative 45 minutes.
“We’re now six points clear of the relegation zone, and that’s the furthest we’ve been all season, and I don’t know how I feel about that because it should be eight.”