Robbo: We just had an off-day

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SATURDAY’S 1-1 draw with Brentford was an ‘off day’ for all his players, according to manager Karl Robinson.

After a drab first half, Keanu Marsh-Brown opened the scoring just two minutes into the second half after a brilliant break from Luke Chadwick.

But Brentford - fresh from booking a place at Wembley for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final - pegged the home side back almost immediately, when Dons’ defence fell apart to allow Lewis Grabban to turn and shoot inside the box to equalise.

Dons returned to stadium:mk after four away games in a row, but failed to show the same character which has seen their away form finally turn the corner since the new year.

However, after the game, Robinson said it was an off day for his players and that they didn’t deserve to win.

“It’s probably our worst performance in a while, since the turn of the year,” he said. “The players have been performing absolutely magnificently of late, but they dropped off. It was an off day, a dull day for them all.

“Brentford played with confidence, after getting to Wembley, and had a bit of momentum, but I don’t think we had that fluency or that spark.

“At times we showed it, and there is no coincidence that when we did, we created chances and the goal. But overall I wasn’t too impressed by the performance.”

His side were hampered with injury and suspension, forcing the manager into three changes - two of them in defence - from the team that started against Sheffield Wednesday a week before, leaving Robinson to thank his lucky stars that Dons weren’t beaten.

He said: “Sean O’Hanlon should still be doing more training because he’s still not fit, but he’s had to come in because we need him. Gary MacKenzie then comes back in at Sheffield Wednesday but gets suspended, and Dan Woodards gets injured.

“Then you lose Peter Leven, who has been one of our shining lights this year - the player who makes us play most of our football and is a constant threat from set pieces.

“But the changes are forced upon us, and luckily enough, we didn’t get beaten.”

Marsh-Brown maintained his impressive streak since joining from Fulham, topping his performance on Saturday with a well-worked goal - one of few highlights of the game. But his manager felt he should have doubled Dons’ tally later when he was through on goal again.

He said: “It was a wonderful goal, and the type I love to see. There was great passing movement - it was direct at people.

“We didn’t have as much penetration as we would have like in the first half, but when the opportunity arose, we picked them off with some great movement and with Keanu’s lightning pace.

“He should have scored again, it was disappointing that he didn’t - a boy with his quality should put them away.”

But the biggest disappointment of all came three minutes after Marsh-Brown’s opener, when Dons’ defence went walkabout, leaving Grabban with plenty of time to fire past David Martin.

And from there, Brentford looked the more likely to score a winner, creating two or three good chances to put the game out of reach for Dons.

But Robinson is keen to put the performance, and in particular the goal they conceded, behind them, as they now face two tough encounters in the space of five days - first taking on Leyton Orient at home on Tuesday night before the long journey to Hartlepool next Saturday.

“I’m disappointed with the goal we conceded because, from where I was standing, we looked all over the place, I’m not going to point the finger at one player when it was four or five, “ added Robinson.

“But they have to pick themselves and go again on Tuesday. We have two massive games coming up and we have to get back to playing our football.”

Tuesday’s game against Orient kicks off at stadium:mk at 7.45pm.