Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson admitted jailed striker Ched Evans was missed as the Blades slumped to a 1-0 defeat at MK Dons.
Evans was jailed for five years on Friday. The 23-year-old, who has scored 35 goals this season, was convicted of rape at Caernarfon Crown Court. Deprived of their leading scorer, United failed to find the net against the Dons, who claimed all three points thanks to Alan Smith's first goal in five years.
The defeat leaves Wilson's side, who failed to take advantage of Daniel Powell's dismissal in the 66th minute, just one point ahead of city rivals Sheffield Wednesday in the final automatic promotion spot.
When asked for his reaction to Evans being jailed, Wilson said: "There's no reaction if I'm quite honest, I can't have any reaction because there's an appeal going forward now. The one thing we don't want to do is jeopardise it in that respect.
"As a player, you miss a player who scores 35 goals in a season, of course you do. But things happen in seasons and whether it's this situation or other situations you have to deal with it, and that's what we'll do.
"You're dealt little blows at certain times in the season, every club is. We've had a couple this season that we've dealt with and we'll deal with this one."