MK Dons manager Russell Martin said his side never know when they are beaten after Charlie Brown’s 88th-minute strike secured a dramatic 4-3 comeback win over Northampton.
However, Martin also admitted they “got away with it” and warned his players they cannot perform so poorly again as the Dons look to mount a play-off bid in League One.
The visitors opened the scoring in just the second minute through Fraser Horsfall but the Dons levelled through Andrew Surman and took a 2-1 lead through Will Grigg.
Ryan Watson and Peter Kioso put Northampton back ahead in the second half only for Cameron Jerome and Brown to seal a late turnaround, extending the home side’s unbeaten league run to five games as they moved to within six points of the play-off places.
“I am really pleased we won but there is a lot to learn and we can’t be that poor again,” Martin said.
“We got away with it today but we would have lost that game a while ago so to come back and show that character is something we need to keep showing and keep building.
“We have real momentum which is brilliant; the guys don’t know when they’re beaten that’s for sure.
“Their mentality and togetherness is growing all the time and their resilience has really improved in the time we’ve been here, which is down to their belief and work they’ve put in.
“I’m hurt by the goals we conceded today and the players are, I’m sure, but then, unbelievable intensity and character to come back into the game and the subs that came on and made a huge impact with four of them being involved in the last two goals is what we needed.”
In coming out on the losing end of the result, the visitors were not only left to rue letting their leads slips but also the chances they had to win it.
And Northampton caretaker boss Jon Brady believes his side got “carried away” when they took the lead late on, failing to control the end of the game as Town continue to search for a first league win of 2021.
“We had 20 shots and 12 on target, they’ve had nine all game and we’ve come away, taken the game to them and grabbed them by the scruff of the neck, we’ve had them round the throat for most of the game,” Brady said.
“But the problem is with us, because we haven’t been in this position for a while, we got carried away and wanted to keep attacking and we closed off their spaces and controlled the spaces but that was our problem. We didn’t hold on to each other because we haven’t been in these situations for quite a while and this is where they’ve got to learn, and learn quickly.
“We should have defended better first and foremost. We got carried away and decided to go gung-ho and we got carved open.”