MK DONS won’t give up their promotion bid without a fight.
That was the response of defiant manager Karl Robinson, who took his squad away to a Leicestershire hotel straight after Saturday’s game in order to regroup and prepare for tomorrow’s second leg at the Galpharm.
“The game’s not over yet, we believe we can still turn it around,” he said.
“It was a really weird match, I thought there was nothing in it at all. It was a bit of a stalemate and then Jordan Rhodes pops up with a goal.
“He does what it says on the tin doesn’t he? I forgot he was playing and then suddenly look up at the scoreboard and it’s 1-0, Rhodes.
“The second half was probably more in our favour and they hit us on the break. It’s a sucker punch but there’s a long way to go.”
Robinson, whose side drew both regular League I games with Town, insisted: “That’s one of the best performances I’ve seen from them but I just know that was not us at our best.
“We huffed and puffed a bit and they really got amongst us and made it difficult for us.
“But we had chances but didn’t turn them into goals and in big games, the defining moments are your key chances.
“We just didn’t perform. It wasn’t a lack of effort, we tried to get in their faces. I’ve got no resources, but I’ve got heart and hunger and great men.
“We can play better, but that’s the best they’ve got.”
MK skipper Dean Lewington said: “We’d rather not be in the position we are in, but we’re still confident we can turn this around.
“The fans should have no worries about us being up for the second leg. It’s doe or die for us.
“It obviously didn’t go the way we planned and it was a disappointing result for us.
“But some aspects of our performance were decent. We started well in each half and created some good chances.
“However we let in two sloppy goals, which was another disappointment.”