Dons cannot afford to let the gap to safety get any bigger, said Lee Nicholls after they slipped six points adrift on Tuesday night.
The 1-0 defeat to Oldham at Boundary Park was Dons' fifth in a row, and fourth since manager Dan Micciche took over. On a tough, frozen pitch, Anthony Gerrard headed home from a corner for the only goal of the game six minutes before the break in a truly dreadful affair.
Dons, despite showing a little fight in the opening half hour, didn't even register a shot on goal in the second period, with even the match-day sponsor taking pity on Latics keeper Johny Placide by giving him the man of the match prize.
The result means Oldham climb out of the relegation zone and open the gap to Dons to six points - a figure Nicholls says can't to get any bigger.
"We know it can't afford to get any bigger than this,! he said. "But we need to stay positive and stick together.
"We need everyone behind us, we need to pull together and we will get out of this. The quicker the games come the better for us. The quicker they come, the quicker we can get out of it.
"We got in good areas, but things just aren't falling for us at the moment. I said the other week that someone is going to get a 3-0, or a 4-0 from us and I think it's coming.
"We're in good areas and playing good football but we need to pick up points. We all know we're good enough to get out of this. We've got a good spirit and we aren't panicking yet."
The frozen surface didn't help Micciche's preferred style of play - passing out from the back - and often caught Dons short, especially in the midfield as both Ed Upson and Ouss Cisse struggled badly. But while it hindered Dons, it also rescued them when a badly timed bobble hit the shin of Oldham substitute Aaron Amadi-Holloway when he was through on goal late in the day.
Nicholls added: "We saw the pitch on the news, and as it went on it got worse and worse. It's just one of those nights.
"The pitch was a big factor in the game and it was a big part of their play. We just couldn't get the ball moving properly. It's frustrating.
"We're still adapting, and it will take time. You can see we're improving, when we get the ball down there were a few passages of play which didn't quite fall for us."