Gary Rowett seeking Blues reaction

Blues take on MK Dons at St. Andrew's in the Sky Bet Championship (3pm) knowing that the Boxing Day reverse at Sheffield Wednesday was sub-standard.

"I think the players will be frustrated themselves with the performance," said Rowett, who feels Blues confidence has not been dented.

"I don't mind losing a game (if we have a go). I will put my hands up and say we weren't good enough.‎ I will never try and gloss over it too much.

"And I think the players are the same. They will see that it's not that we didn't work hard enough, it's that we were not aggressive enough, we didn't have enough real desire.

"Sometimes players don't mean to do that. Sometimes they will turn up and as a group they won't feel as energetic as before.

"But there is no excuse for me. It won't be down to (a lack of confidence on Monday), it will be down to having a little bit more drive, a bit more belief in what we are doing.

"When we do it well - against Middlesbrough, against Preston - there's not many teams in this division who are that much better than us. 

"They might have some individuals in there who have got a bit more magic, at times. But as a team unit we are not far away. 

"But we have got to be at it and we have to make sure we are at it against MK Dons.

"To be fair to them they move the ball around well and if we defend with that sort of tepidness we did on Boxing Day then they will create chances and cause us problems.

"So it is important we have a reaction from the players, certainly."

Clayton Donaldson returned from injury as a substitute at Hillsborough, providing Blues with a welcome boost.

Paul Robinson was also on the bench after recovering from injury while Stephen Gleeson and Shane Lowry, who were both ill and missed the trip to South Yorkshire, could be available.

When they have previously endured a setback, Blues players have tended to recover in the right manner.

"They do because they are an honest bunch," stated Rowett.

"You are always trying to define your bunch and I don't want to define them being all effort and low on quality because we're not that.

"We usually have a response in terms of the aggression, in terms of the desire to win the game.

"We (the management team) have said that all along: if you give me that, work hard enough and something goes against us, I will take my hat off to it.

"But when we don't try hard enough and when we are not aggressive enough, I can't have that, it's not a hallmark of any of my teams. I find that hard to take.

"I am sure we will see a response and certainly the 1,600 travelling fans, providing they are all at the home game, deserve a response after witnessing that performance on Boxing Day."