Warren Joyce insists Wigan Athletic have it in them to get out of trouble at the wrong end of the Championship.
Latics lost 1-0 to high-flying Derby at the DW Stadium - the fourth home game in a row in which they’ve drawn a blank - and slip a place to second-bottom in the table.
But after watching his side more than match the Rams for the vast majority, Joyce maintains he has total faith Latics will not be down there for long.
“I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think we could get out of it,” he said.
“Obviously I knew it was a difficult job before I came here.
“But we’ve played against one of the biggest sides in
the division, with great expectations, who have spent vast amounts of money, who are expecting to get automatic promotion, and I didn’t think they were better than us.
“That in itself gives you hope for the games to come.
“We just have to dust ourselves down...it’s the highs and lows of football.
“I didn’t think we were second best, and there’s a lot of positives to take from the game, even though we didn’t get any points.
“That’s the disappointing thing, but we’ve got to dust ourselves down and go again.”
Latics failed to build on the momentum generated by Monday night’s fine win at Huddersfield, as they were well-shackled by a resolute Rams rearguard.
Yanic Wildschut, Wigan’s match-winner in West Yorkshire, cut a frustrated figure for long periods, and Joyce called on the Dutchman to add a consistency to his undoubted game-breaking qualities.
“I didn’t think he did as well today to be fair – in either position, whether it was up front or out wide,” assessed the Latics boss.
“I thought some of his decision-making was poor, and he wasn’t at it.
“I wouldn’t normally talk about individual players, but we’re talking about a consistency you have to have if
you are to progress as a footballer.
“If you’re doing the right things every day, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to go out on a Saturday and raise the bar.
“You can’t afford to be top class one week, and not as good the following week.
“You’ve got to look at yourself as an individual, and put high demands on yourself to improve every day so you’re capable of doing that.
“The fact he was up front, or wide, I didn’t think he was quite at the races today.
“He put in plenty of effort, but just the final ball, final touch, decision-making wasn’t as good as what I’ve seen from him.”