It may have been a disappointing performance at Home Park, but Dons boss Robbie Neilson was more concerned with his side picking up their first points on the road this season.
Aidan Nesbitt's eighth minute goal was enough to secure the 1-0 victory on the south coast, but after Graham Carey's 33rd minute sending off for the home side, Argyle were the better side.
Failing to even register a shot on goal in the second half, Dons managed to get back on the bus for the long journey home to Milton Keynes with all three points - and that was the most important thing for the manager.
"The performance showed where we are at the moment," Neilson said. "We went a goal up against 11 men, and we looked better when they were at full strength. But when they had a man sent off, we looked nervous and that's what happens in football.
"When you're at the top of the league, you go away and score two or three goals, but we just want points on the board and we just didn't want to concede. Plymouth are desperate for points too though and went gung-ho.
"Sendings off always change the game. It relieved the pressure on Plymouth to an extent because they had nothing to lose. If they got beaten 2-0, 3-0, it doesn't matter. But at 1-0 down, 10 men, it gave them the confidence to go forward. It was up to us to stop them and play better football. We didn't do that though, but we come away with three points.
"We'd like, against 10 men, to have scored more, but credit to Plymouth, they played some good football. They're a good team and put us under a lot of pressure.
"If, in three months time, we're at the top of the league, I'll expect us to punish sides with 10 men. But we came here with four points and we want points on the board."
Goal-scorer Aidan Nesbitt was signed initially by Neilson as a development for the future, but after a brilliant cameo against Oxford last Saturday and a lively 45 minutes in the reserves on Monday, the manager felt he was right to give him another chance against Plymouth.
He said: "Aidan played in the reserve game on Monday and played really well. And I've always said if you perform well in the reserves, you'll get into the first team. Initially, he was going to play 90 minutes but he came off because he played a bit last Saturday too.
"If other players stand out, they'll get the chance to play too. He's a development player, but there's no doubting his ability."