Dons boss Robbie Neilson feels he has a better understanding of what he needs in January after a 4-1 hammering at the hands of League 2 Yeovil on Tuesday night.
While the second round Checkatrade Trophy defeat may not be a huge ripple on the radar for Dons' season, the lacklustre performance could prove more useful to Neilson as he discovered which players he feels can fit into his system and more importantly, which ones cannot.
With some distinctly poor performance from a handful players at Huish Park, Neilson said preparations have already begun to ensure the January transfer window can help add to what he had, while wheedling out his deadwood.
"I was expecting more from some of them, and I didn't get it from some of them," said Neilson afterwards. "They're either coming with us or they're not.
"It shows the process we're in and the problems we have at the moment and why we are where we are. It showed that we don't have the depth but we need.
"But we have to keep a positivity about the place. It was an opportunity tonight, but some showed what they can do, and others showed that they can't.
"You lose matches in football, that's part and parcel, but you have to learn something. It's now down to me to make sure we get the recruitment bang on.
"It was a learning process for us all. We didn't know the whole squad, but we're getting there after three or four days now. We're asking if this player can play here, can he play there? Can he play under pressure? It was important tonight.
"We know what level we're at now. Today was about analysis because come January, I have to make sure I get the right people. I don't want people here who I think maybe can do it, and come February when the window shuts starting to think maybe they can't.
"It has started, the process has started and we're getting things organised and I'm excited."
Neilson didn't hide away from the poor performance his side put in. While they edged a bitty first half, and led through Alex Lacey's own goal, they capitulated under pressure from Yeovil, who extended their unbeaten streak to nine by beating Dons.
But the manager felt it was more important to see his fringe players in action, rather than play a full strength side and learn nothing, but have more of a chance of making the last 16.
He said: "I was disappointed in the result. We worked hard but we fell away in the second half.
"I thought the second half was poor. We stopped playing, we didn't go for the ball. There was some good stuff and some bad stuff, but there were some good performances. some showed some spirit.
"Chuks, for a man being out for so long, showed what he;s got. Ben Reeves as well, George Baldock coming on and Agard up front as well did well."