Manager Dan Micciche admitted MK Dons' situation is bleak as they dropped to 22nd in League 1 on Saturday
The 1-0 defeat to Walsall means Dons' record is just two wins in 18 league games, but Julien Ngoy's debut goal on 69 minutes was enough to hand the fellow strugglers all three points.
READ MICCICHE'S REACTION TO THE DEFEAT ON OUR MATCHDAY BLOG
"I knew it was bleak when I came in," said Micciche afterwards as he still seeks out his first win as Dons boss. "But it was a challenge I wanted to take on.
"Any mountain is big - ask the teams in the top six too. It;s a touygh league, we all know that. If we didn;t have the ability in tehdressing room I'd say it was tougher, but we've got winnable games coming up, we've got goals too. We have to stay positive and it will turn.
"We should be higher up. We have to start turning this optimism into results. I think we're getting there.
"We're trying to prepare for games and bring a new identity in. That's normally done during a pre-season. We've had the transfer window too. Now we've got this week out the way, we can concentrate on all that.
"I don't want to sound like a broken record, but if we keep persevering with the style and working hard every day, it will turn for us. I believe in the players. It has to turn at some point, but the stats don't lie. The goal count hasn't been great for us this season but we've tried to address it to create chances that suit the profile of player in the dressing room.
"I'm optimistic going into the game with Portsmouth."