"It's not over today, even if we'd have won it wouldn't have made the season either," said Paul Tisdale on the sidelines at Prenton Park on Saturday.
His side losing to Tranmere Rovers saw Dons drop out of the automatic promotion spots. Having started the day third, level with Mansfield on 72 points, the Stags' 1-1 draw with Northampton and Bury's 2-0 win over Colchester, along with Dons' loss changes the layout of the division, but does little to alter the grand scheme of things.
Victory for Dons would all but ended Tranmere's hopes of automatic promotion, Rovers are now within touching distance. Three points separate the contenders and it is still very much a four horse race for the remaining two places.
Frustratingly, there was not much to write home about from Prenton Park from Dons' point of view. Tranmere keeper Scott Davies was barely called into action all afternoon, though he was called upon to pick out Kieran Agard's header just two minutes after David Perkins' opener on the half hour mark. Agard's goal, his 22nd of the season, was also his 100th career goal - a landmark overshadowed by the disappointing result.
It was also another disappointing result against a team in and around the race for promotion this season. In games against Lincoln, Bury, Mansfield and Tranmere this season, Dons have picked up just five points from a possible 21, while giving up 14. And with the season destined to decided on May 4 at home to Mansfield, that will be a trend Dons will be desperate to turn around when it really counts.