Karl Robinson admitted arguing with Izale McLeod as the striker pleaded his case for a more regular place in the MK Dons side.
McLeod, Dons’ all-time leading goal-scorer, has found his chances limited this season but bounced back in terrific style on Saturday, scoring a double and winning a penalty in the 3-0 win at Walsall.
But the manager said the player wasn’t content with a role on the bench, and the pair thrashed out their differences in his office.
“We had an argument,” said Robinson. “We got one or two things off our chest. But I have so much respect for him as a man.
“In my job, I have to make decisions that sometimes upset people.
“But I told him if he trains well, he plays. And he went out there and did it, I had no other thought in my mind after last Thursday afternoon.
“I want him to make the keeper have to make saves.”
The 29-year-old was making his first start in Dons colours since November, and his persistence certainly paid off, much to the relief of his manager.
Robinson said: “It was a relief for us all. He set his stall out.
“He was sensational, he scored well-taken goals and I want to see him carry that on on Saturday against Oldham.”
Dons have now got back-to-back home games against Oldham Athletic and the rearranged fixture against play-off contenders Preston North End.
The side currently sit 10th in League 1, nine points adrift of the play-off spot, currently occupied by rivals Peterborough.