Hartlepool boss John Hughes has set his sights on emulating MK Dons' style of play after seeing rock-bottom Pools outclassed in a 1-0 defeat at stadium:mk.

Ryan Lowe volleyed in the only goal of the game early on to lift the Dons to within two points of top spot and leave hapless Pools without a win in 21 games.

And Hughes was left full of admiration for the Dons' slick pass-and-move style as his wait for a first win continues.

He said: "You have to be honest, we got quite fortunate to keep them down to one goal. They hit the underside of the bar and Scotty Flinders was magnificent - he must have had about five or six great saves.

"I questioned their goal, I thought it was offside but I've just seen the replay and it was onside. I was big enough and man enough to go along to the referee's room and shake the linesman's hand and say sorry, because he got it spot-on.

"I'm sitting back analysing it and if I can make Hartlepool as good as MK Dons then I've done wonderful job at this club. I'll take that on board and just keep striving towards that.

Milton Keynes dominated the first half and an unmarked Lowe put them ahead on the quarter of an hour mark, volleying Darren Potter's cross past Flinders as the Pools defence appealed in vain for offside.

Hartlepool improved after the break and Charlie Wyke had a fierce drive beaten out by David Martin before Potter blasted an effort against the crossbar at the death.

Dons manager Karl Robinson said: "I understand the frustration of the fans about us not getting any more goals, but I think when you look at the whole game we should have won by four or five.

"In the first half we blew them away and I think they felt they weren't even in the game. I don't think you're going to get a much more comfortable 1-0 win than that - and that's not being disrespectful to Hartlepool."