"We weren't at the races": Payne critical of Dons' performance against Grimsby

Jack Payne and MJ Williams look frustrated during the 1-1 draw with GrimsbyJack Payne and MJ Williams look frustrated during the 1-1 draw with Grimsby
Jack Payne and MJ Williams look frustrated during the 1-1 draw with Grimsby | Jane Russell
Charlton Athletic loanee Jack Payne spoke after MK Dons' 1-1 draw with Grimsby

Goal-scorer Jack Payne felt MK Dons were off their game on Tuesday night against Grimsby, but was pleased to have come away with a point in the 1-1 draw.

His third Dons goal came after 66 minutes, cancelling out Rekeil Pyke's 20th minute opener at Stadium MK. But it was a tough night for the hosts, and one where they were second-best to the struggling Mariners for periods.

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"We weren't quite at the races today," said Payne afterwards. "In the first-half, we weren't quite ourselves. But in the second, it was a lot better and I think we could have come away with the win.

"When you're not at the races though, we have to make sure we don't lose and we've done that. We have to take the positives and move on."

On what may have been the cause for the lacklustre opening half, Payne said: "It's tough to say - I think we all came into the game feeling confident as a group. I don't know if Grimsby maybe took us by surprise, they looked quite good, to give them credit. But at home, we expect to be better than that.

"Sometimes these games happen, but you have to make sure on those nights you get something from the game. And we managed that."

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His goal proved to be an important one, converting from eight-yards out to give Dons a good chance of going on to snatch a win which had looked unlikely in the opening hour of the game. But Payne admitted he would have preferred to have scored the winner.

He added: "It's nice to chip in with a goal, it would have been nicer to have come in a win but it was a great cutback from Gilbs (Alex Gilbey) , and I was delighted to see it hit the back of the net. I'm just gutted we didn't build on it and get the three points."

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