WIGAN boss Roberto Martinez believes his players came through a massive test of character ‘with flying colours’ after picking up a second away win on the bounce at West Brom.
The visitors recovered from the disappointment of going behind to a wonder free-kick by Steven Reid to equalise through Victor Moses’ first goal in 13 months.
And the three points were secured when Moses was felled in the area by Reid and Jordi Gomez slotted home his third goal in the last four matches.
Wigan had to withstand a real onslaught from the home side in the closing stages, with former Latic Paul Scharner heading inches over the bar in the dying seconds.
But Wigan held on to jump three places in the Premier League table, and Martinez could not contain his glee in the aftermath.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of the players after that performance,” said Martinez.
“The way we defended in that second half was fantastic, but also in the first half I felt we were magnificent.
“It was one of those games where you have to show many different aspects in your play.
“First and foremost, we had to take the sting out of the game, and play like we do at home – keeping the ball and opening West Brom’s two banks of four.
“I feel we did that very, very well and it took an outstanding free-kick for them to score.
“From then on it was a real test of character, and one that we came through with flying colours.
“After that I thought we kept the ball better than West Brom, and every time we went forward it was with a real threat.
“In the last 10-15 minutes, you would expect West Brom to build up a real threat and real momentum, and you have to show a completely different set of qualities.
“You are looking for real character, real resilience, real concentration and we did just that.
“In the past we have got ourselves into positions where we’ve had something to lose and we’ve not been able to hang on.
“But this time we managed to see the game out, we coped with everything they had to throw at us and I’m extremely proud of every single one of the players. It’s a fantastic three points and I hope the fans are as proud of the players as I am.”
Martinez lavished special praise on match-winner Gomez, who has not always enjoyed a positive relationship with the Wigan fans but is proving to be a key man for his side of late.
“Jordi is a very talented player and it takes real talent to be so cool from the penalty spot,” added Martinez.
“We all know it has been difficult for him to settle in, and I hope that the fans are now able to see the real Jordi and appreciate the fact that he can win games for us.
“I thought he was outstanding again, on the ball he controlled the tempo of the game and allowed us to be a real threat.
“But I thought every single player made a contribution to the win – from Conor Sammon leading the line up front to Victor Moses showing a real killer touch with a finish as good as you’re going to get.
“In Victor’s case, he is 21 on Monday and what a fantastic birthday present for himself.
“I don’t think Victor has had a bad spell this season. He has been very consistent.
“I know that sometimes playing for Wigan you are not going to get as much credit as playing for other clubs. But the way he has been on a daily basis, he has got huge potential and I’ve got no doubts that he is going to fulfil it.”