Burton boss Nigel Clough was relieved to hear the final whistle as his side produced a second 1-0 victory in four days to propel them into League One’s top six.
Liam Boyce’s 14th goal of the season was enough to defeat MK Dons on Tuesday night at the Pirelli Stadium.
“The last hour of the game where we have had to defend in number incredibly well and it was a great effort from the players to see it through,” said Clough.
“We restricted them to two or three opportunities but they are a very good team. They kept the ball and kept probing and I think everyone in our team is dead on their feet tonight.”
Clough hopes there are a few more hard-fought victories around the corner as Albion push to stay in the play-off race.
“If we do our jobs in the next few weeks there are going to
be a few more like that,” he added. “I hope so anyway, in March and April, hanging onto leads, character building and its good practice, hopefully, for later on in the season.
“We had quite a few players out and a tired team tonight. The run of games has caught up with some of them.”
Despite the levels of fatigue, Clough was happy to get a scrappy win after failing to find victories in games they had dominated earlier in the campaign.
“It is as good a three points as we have had this season” he said. “We have had enough times when we have played well, dominated and created chances and not come off with the three points so we deserve a few of these types of wins.”
MK Dons boss Russell Martin could not work out how his side left the pitch with nothing to show for their efforts, as they were left still looking over their shoulder towards the League One drop zone.
“We dominated completely. It was attack versus defence for seventy-odd minutes and that last detail to score a goal hasn’t quite been there,” Martin said.
“We gave away a really poor goal and we didn’t start the game very well and after that the goal gives them something to hang on to and it made it difficult for us.
“I thought we looked quite dangerous, particularly in the first half and that is the disappointing thing that the goal came from a chance where Joe Mason was free in the box and could have taken a touch but he tried to head it and then the goal I am really disappointed with and I think the players should be as well.
“We will learn from it and it was a completely different game to when we played them earlier in the season and it shows how far we have come. It’s a team in the play-offs so you have to credit them, they are a difficult team to play against.”