MK Dons didn’t do enough to win the game against Preston, according to manager Karl Robinson, though they didn’t deserve to lose it either.
In nine meetings, Dons are still to pick up their first win over North End, who book-ended MK’s 13 game unbeaten streak with their 1-0 win at stadium:mk on Saturday.
Paul Gallagher scored the only goal of the game after 28 minutes, neatly side-stepping Kyle McFadzean in the penalty area to coolly slot home.
Neither keeper was especially busy during the course of the tense 90 minutes, but Robinson felt his side was worthy of a point.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose, but I don’t think we did a great deal to win it either,” he said afterwards. “We were much better in the first half, and to find ourselves 1-0 down was disappointing.
“Simon Grayson has a really good team, we’ve played against them many times.
“We’ve probably only lost two games in 30-odd between. And it showed because there wasn’t anything in the game today. They just took their chance.
“Dean Lewington told the boys that if we’re going to lose, make sure the opposition has to defend until the very end, and we made them do that.
“I think we coped with everything, and I don’t recall Dave (Martin) making a save.
“It’s just the way it goes. I don’t think we’ve ever beaten a Peter Ridsdale team!
We certainly know how to play against them. You need to take your chances when they come along.”
Preston keeper Jordan Pickford proved to be the difference in the sides, easily collecting everything Dons pinged into the penalty area.
Robinson praised the on-loan Sunderland stopper, saying: “Their goalkeeper dominated in their penalty area wonderfully well. With the number of balls we put into that box, he made the decision to come for every one.
“He was a real threat with his kicks too, and started attacks.”
The defeat brings the curtains down on a truly remarkable unbeaten run, which helped Dons to earn automatic promotion at the end of last season.
Preston were the last side to beat Dons back in March, sparking the run, but Robinson insists the streak hasn’t had any influence over their expectations coming into the Championship.
“It has been amazing, and ironically it has ended against the team who beat us last.
“We weren’t getting too excited about a win at Rotherham. My wife tells me I’m a right miserable so-and-so, so I don’t think a win at Rotherham was going to make me overly excited!
“I don’t focus too much on wins, but I move on quite quickly.
“We know what our expectations are, and a lot of people have told us we’re going down.”