Winkelman on MK Dons' horrible and public play-off defeats

Pete WinkelmanPete Winkelman
Pete Winkelman
The MK Dons chairman said he felt the same embarrassment as everyone else on Saturday night

Pete Winkelman said he was embarrassed as MK Dons’ play-off exit played out on live television once again.

Dons were already the club with the most play-off visits without making a Wembley final before their 8-1 aggregate defeat to Crawley Town, but their latest attempt was by far their most embarrassing yet.

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Appearing on Sky three times this season, Dons lost significantly on each occasion, with both play-off defeats accompanied by the 5-0 thrashing by Stockport County at Edgeley Park.

“I don't know what it is about being live on Sky but it's something we have address,” said Winkelman. “We didn't look like us through the entire play-off tie.

“For the players, it was devastating, and they had to play out the rest of the 90 minutes, and it was devastating. It was most horrible games I've ever seen.

“No-one is more sorry than me for what we had to witness. As hard as we've tried to make it work, we've fallen at the last hurdle and it's so disappointing, and it's so public.

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“It's not about money, sometimes it's the luck of the draw. Football can come down to that, and more often than not, it doesn't bounce for us. That is something, mentally, we have to deal with.”

Winkelman also admitted he upset some Dons fans with his #BringTheNoise campaign, closing some areas of Stadium MK for the game while not allowing season ticket supporters to buy their regular seats for the play-off second-leg.

He said: “I've upset half the season ticket base by moving people together, but I've been told it's the atmosphere which lets this place down and to get everyone together. I've tried every which way - moving away fans upstairs, we've tried all sorts.

“But when it comes down to the players on the pitch, and what happened after the second minute, things going wrong, we all knew the game was gone.”