The Dons boss conceded his side did not get involved enough in the first half but, after giving their Championship opponents a scare late on, insists a more positive display is not far off.
"I am a little bit disappointed. I know this group can do a lot better than that and at times we were a bit passive and I know they are a good team but that disappointed me," Ardley said.
"There are positives to take and I know we were 2-0 down when we responded and both goals really were from errors of ours, but I don't think we were particularly carved open. We actually raised our game.
"We then caused them some problems but that was what I was looking for earlier in the game.
"We have a good squad and I know what they are capable of but ultimately this early in the season we are still caught between two stalls at times and it's the coaching staff's job to iron those things out."