Karl Robinson was delighted with the way his players responded to three consecutive defeats, picking up a point against Walsall on Saturday.
The 1-1 draw at the Banks’s Stadium saw Dons fall further adrift of the automatic promotion spots, but they remain fourth in League 1, as Will Grigg cancelled out Tom Bradshaw’s opener for a share of the spoils.
We’ve got to get in the play-offs first, then we’ll concentrate on a fight for automatic promotion.Karl Robinson
“We’ve lacked confidence recently,” said Robinson. “But today the performance was a tick in the box as we move in the right direction.
“There were 10 minutes in either half when we looked shaky and nervous, but the rest we looked really good. To be on this bad run, for everyone to knock us, and to go 1-0 down, ultimately our response was excellent.
“We’re obviously disappointed to lose more ground. We’ve got to get in the play-offs first, then we’ll concentrate on a fight for automatic promotion.”
With arguably his strongest 11 starting, Robinson saw his side behind in the early stages as David Martin, returning after six games out, flapped at Andy Taylor’s cross to allow Bradshaw an easy header to open the scoring.
But a fine move involving Kyle McFadzean, Ben Reeves and Dean Bowditch teed up Grigg to score the equaliser on his old stomping ground.
Robinson said: “Our goal summed us up. We were getting back to what we’re good at. We looked a bit shaky and could do better in areas, but we could have nicked it late on. The subs made a difference too. There’s a lot of positives to come out of this game.
“It was a goalkeeping error and Dave held his hands up straight away.
“I’m really excited now. Reeves was very good in the first half but ran out of steam, as did Bowditch, but they’ll only get fitter.”
The Dons boss though was left fuming on the touchline when Darren Potter appeared to be fouled in the box with the score at 1-0, only for the assistant to award a goal kick.
Having showed the video replay to the media prior to his press conference, Robinson said: “When you see the position of the officials, you can see it’s really poor. How many times have we seen that recently?”
But Dons could have won it late on when Devante Cole went through on goal, only to cross rather than shoot.
Robinson though refused to blame the 19-year-old for his decision.
He added: “He could have taken another touch! He thought he saw someone inside him. He looked good when he came on. I’m excited by where Cole can go in the future.”