Relieved Russell Martin praised his MK Dons players for overcoming their second-half wobble to snatch a dramatic 3-2 win over Accrington.
Matt O’Riley’s last-gasp header sealed the win after the hosts looked to have blown their chance of victory.
Cameron Jerome’s double put the Dons 2-0 up before a Dion Charles strike and Andrew Surman own goal pegged Martin’s side back.
Martin said: “It shouldn’t have been as stressful as it was – that’s for sure.
“But it’s a big relief and big pride in the lads in the way they dealt with the emotion and disappointment that they suffered within the game.
“We deserved to win. I thought we played brilliantly, they didn’t get near our goal, we conceded two really, really poor goals and shot ourselves in the foot, there’s no doubt about it.
“We should have been out of sight by then – we had so many good chances and some of the stuff was great to watch in the first half-an-hour.
“We came out again and deserved the second goal and had a few other chances, so we should have been out of sight – that’s the only frustration for me.
“I know conceding the two goals will make people maybe feel differently about the game, but it can’t take away from so many of the positives and some of the play was outstanding.”
Jerome netted twice for Martin’s side either side of half-time to put them in the driving seat.
But the visitors battled back as Charles scored and Surman sliced into his own net in the space of five minutes to draw Accrington level.
O’Riley intervened at the death to deny Accrington, however, and leave boss John Coleman aggrieved.
The 58-year-old said: “It’s frustrating – I don’t think for one minute that we deserved to lose the game.
“If you’d have told me that after 15 minutes, I’d have disagreed with you because they moved the ball quickly, we knew what we’d expected, we planned for it, but it didn’t work out.
“They didn’t score because of good passing play, they scored because of a horrendous error by ourselves and they created a couple of chances in that spell. Then we changed the shape and we were quite comfortable.
“[It was a] really poor goal to concede, the second one. Then we wrestle our way back into the game and then at 2-2 there only looks to be one winner, we were the aggressor.
“It’s a complete body blow for how hard the players have worked. You can’t govern for mistakes made by individual players – sometimes you’ve just got to battle through it and try and do our best to try and get out of this. But we can’t be conceding three soft goals.”