Paul Tisdale said the manner of the heavy defeat to Peterborough on Saturday has highlighted areas where his side must improve this season.
After calling Peterborough 'a barometer' for their League One chances earlier this week, the 4-0 thumping at Stadium MK was a harsh lesson for Tisdale's side who were well off the mark all over the pitch.
Tisdale said it was the worst performance he had experienced as manager at the club, and said the manner of the defeat does not disguise any of their shortcomings.
"We were so far off it, it's sometimes better to have clarity," he said. "We have to think about how we're going to be better over the next dozen games in League One. Today might be a blessing in disguise, and losing by a closer margin wouldn't have done that. I'm disappointed, I'm not taking it lightly, I feel miserable, but I've been here before and I know we have to be objective.
"When a game goes like that, with so much wrong, everyone will have a comment why. I've been in these situations before, and the reason is sometimes somewhere else, something unrelated. It's not about last Tuesday, the shape or the system. Everyone else played on Tuesday night, so we've got no excuses there.
"It's a lesson for us in all sorts of respects, in terms of League One, where we are and how we have to play to be ourselves. And weren't, today, against a good team who played well, so that's what happens.
"Without getting too miserable about it, we need to know where we need to start, and Tuesday (against Southend) is a starting point. It's not about punishment but where we go next. We have to be us and play our way. The players have to be a part of that – they should have been better today and I'm disappointed in that. I'm taking this seriously, but for that reason I'm not jumping on any particular topic yet."