Paul Cooke believes the Dons have been suffering from a hangover from their heavy Challenge Cup defeat at Warrington.
The Dons were far from their best as they scraped to a 30-28 win over rock bottom Barrow on Sunday.
Though reluctant to blame the 68-0 defeat to the Wolves, Cooke admitted it had taken its toll.
“Last week probably had a bearing on the Barrow game when you look at the result,” Cooke said.
“We weren’t expected to win at Warrington and we rested players.
“But there’s still going to be some sort of hangover from the scoreline.
“We knew we’d have a tough week last week getting the lads up for the game in terms of energy levels and trying to manage the small squad we’ve got.
“It’s not an excuse because we’ve got to be better than that.”
A first half Lee Waterman hat trick and a second half brace from Dave Scott, coupled with a 100 per cent kicking record from Stewart Sanderson, helped the Dons to the narrow triumph over Barrow.
Cooke insists the performance must be a low point of the campaign.
He said: “Eventually we got over the line with some individual pieces of skill but it wasn’t pretty.
“I think it’s only because Barrow have not won for so long that we got over the line.
“We won the game but we really got out of jail and we can’t be that bad again.”