Russell Martin said that defeat at Blackpool summed up MK Dons’ season after Sullay Kaikai struck in the hosts’ 1-0 success.
Seasiders winger Kaikai met CJ Hamilton’s low cross and finished clinically midway through the second half to give the home side the win.
Just three shots on target were accrued in a game of minimal chances, leaving Martin frustrated to leave Bloomfield Road empty-handed.
“They made it difficult by kicking it as far away as they could for the last 20 minutes,” said the manager. “We limited a team to two shots on target away from home and lost 1-0.
“The minimum we should have come away with is a draw.
“We had control of the game without creating anything and they tried to catch us in behind on the counter-attack, but it didn’t happen once.
“We didn’t mark in the box for their goal; it’s something we work on religiously and we didn’t do it.
“We should give credit to Blackpool and we weren’t as fluid as we should have been.
“They had to work very hard to stop us and they were dead on their feet before they scored, but we let them off with a goal which is the story of our season so far.”
Hamilton found Kaikai with a pinpoint cross in the 66th minute, and the Crystal Palace youth product powered home past Dons goalkeeper Andrew Fisher from close range to hand Neil Critchley’s side victory.
After three home defeats on the spin, three points proved vital for the Seasiders, although the margin of victory would have been greater had substitute Dan Kemp fired home with his low effort late on.
But with just two wins in eight League One matches, the head coach knows there is still a long way to go to reach their best.
Critchley said: “Defensively, we were excellent all the way through the game.
“MK Dons can cause real problems with the system they play and are a terrific football team but we restricted them to virtually nothing.
“The organisation and the work rate of our team throughout the 90 minutes was terrific.
“We could have done a little bit better on the ball but the spirit, effort and work rate of the players was outstanding and we deserved those three points.
“We didn’t click at times and we wasted lots of good attacking moments and there was some edginess in our play.
“Sully Kaikai showed the quality he brings; he’s likely to score when we put him in front of goal and his all-round contribution was excellent.
“Dan Ballard was deservedly man of the match as he was outstanding against some really good strikers.”