Neal Ardley paid tribute to both his AFC Wimbledon side and Brentford after the Bees emerged 3-1 winners in the Carabao Cup.
The League One side took the lead through Paul Robinson in the first half and were unfortunate not to go 2-0 up when Luke Daniels brilliantly denied Cody McDonald.
Romaine Sawyers made that save worth it with a brilliant strike to take the contest to extra time but not before the Bees cleared off their own line.
The Dons, though, tired and Ollie Watkins and Justin Shaibu both found the net to give the Championship club the victory but Ardley was anything but downheartened.
He said: “I thought it was a great game. I need to start by saying how good Brentford are. They have individual talent, a lot of pace, movement, signed quality players and a very good manager.
“I felt we had to be at it to be competitive. I felt in the first half we tried to chase the game too much and they picked us off a bit.
“We had to defend and got our noses in front. We tried to press in the middle third in the second half and we looked more assured.
“They scored a wonderful goal and we didn't have anything to hang on to. I thought there were two turning points
“Their goalie (Luke Daniels) making the double save from Cody McDonald which was out of this world and I don't know how he saved the first one.
“The second one was at 1-1 when it got cleared off the line. They were key moments and if we could have gone 2-0 and 2-1 up.
“The longer the game went on the more the possession would tell. We started to get tired, they started to find the holes and finished really well.”
Dons face Shrewsbury on Saturday.