The players have let everyone down admits Bowditch

Dons on their lap of appreciation on Saturday
Dons on their lap of appreciation on Saturday

Dean Bowditch feels the players have let the club down after they failed to reach the play-offs this season.

Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Scunthorpe was the icing on a disappointing cake for Dons, who now sit ninth in League 1 with just a game to go.

Karl Hawley scored the only goal of the game on 41 minutes after an unenthusiastic and lacklustre showing from the home side.

But the second half performance saw a much-improved Dons side, though Bowditch said it was too little too late.

“It’s not the way we wanted finish at stadium:mk,” said the winger. “Even if we’d have won and not got there, we could at least say we gave it a right good go.

“It has been a disappointing season for us. We had to chase it towards the end and we played some good stuff in the last few months, but it just wasn’t quite there in the first half.

“We just didn’t get going. We didn’t get out he traps and up the tempo. It’s frustrating for everyone because we just needed one or two to lift us, but no-one did. But in the second half, we were much better but by that time it was too late.

“We had plenty of chances. People have come here and parked the bus in the past, but we’ve been able to nick one. Scunthorpe got lucky, but we can’t do that to ourselves and have to fight back. Teams will come here, nick a goal and try to sit back. People have to realise it’s so difficult to break teams down when they’re like that.

“It was a big ask and we had to win both games, but we let ourselves down. But there’s still a game to go, it is a case of going out there and giving it our all and giving the fans and staff the chance to end on a win.”

Bowditch has suffered several little injuries this season, but said the team simply hasn’t been consistent enough.

“You can look at several things: you can look at injuries and suspensions, but ultimately, we have been too inconsistent. We haven’t been consistent enough when we’ve had everyone fit and we can’t blame anyone but ourselves. We have to go out there and do it, but we haven’t done it well enough consistently enough.

“I feel sorry for the fans this year. I can’t really say much more than apologise and say we’ll come back better next year and be more consistent. We’ve given them some highlights and some good times, but unfortunately we’ve given them too many bad times. Hopefully next season we’ll come back stronger.

“We should have taken that step forward and we haven’t. It’s hard to talk about because it’s still quite sore. We will think about where we’ve gone wrong and analyse it from there.

“We, the players, have to take responsibility. The gaffer can only do so much. He’s been brilliant again this season. I think too many of us have let him down. Unfortunately, we didn’t do it for him, the fans or the chairman.”

Bowditch added that the disappointment of not making the play-offs is worse than losing out to Huddersfield 12 months ago.

He said: “Last season was hard because we got there, and did so well in the second leg that it was heartbreaking.

“This year, to not even get there... The manager said we’re the ninth best squad of players in the league, and it hurts. We feel we should be better than that, but obviously we’re not because we’re ninth in the league.

“We’ve got to have a long hard look at ourselves and try and come back stronger.”