Paul Jewell has hailed the performance of 10-man Latics in last night's 1-1 draw at Watford.
They played 70 minutes without right-back Fitz Hall, who was
sent off for a two-footed tackle on Hornets winger Johan Cavalli.
And despite going a goal behind soon after the dismissal, Caleb Folan equalised with his first Wigan strike to earn a point.
Latics now have a six-point cushion over West Ham and Charlton, and maintained their eight-point advantage on Watford.
Jewell said: "It was a hard-earned point and I don't want the sending-off to
overshadow what I feel was a tremendous performance.
"It was never going to be a great football match but we showed great character and resilience.
"There is a good resilience about us at the moment, I've sensed that in training and the matches over the last three or four weeks.
"We're now six points clear of the side third bottom with a better goal difference.
"We would have liked to have got three points, but in the circumstances we'll take the draw.
"It will give us heart for the games ahead, although there is nearly a third of the season left and a lot of football to be played."
Jewell kept his counsel on Hall's red card, which will earn the defender a three-match ban, ruling him out of the fixtures against Newcastle, Manchester City and Fulham.
Referee Rob Styles had little hesitation in dismissing Hall, who was at the centre of a mass brawl at Vicarage Road playing for Crystal Palace in last season's Championship play-off semi-final.
It might have been that Jewell didn't want to risk another confrontation with the officials as he awaits the FA hearing to answer his improper conduct charge arising from the Arsenal game 11 days ago.
But there's unlikely to be an appeal to save Hall from suspension.
And Jewell didn't look best pleased with the right-back as he headed for the dressing room.
Jewell added: "I didn't have a good view of the sending-off, that is not a cop-out, it happened on the far side of the pitch to me.
"From where I was, maybe I was surprised when the red card came out, but I don't want to comment on it. We didn't speak much about it afterwards – I was too busy congratulating the team on a point well gained.
"I thought we were the better team with 10 men, and our equaliser had been coming.
"It was great for Caleb to score. I'm pleased for the lad and hopefully it will be the first of many.
"Unfortunately he got a nasty knock on his ankle scoring the goal and
we'll have to see how he is before the Newcastle game on Sunday.
"Watford might see this is as a chance lost, with us down to 10 men and with the crowd behind them.
"They put us under a lot of pressure and put crosses into the box, but really John Filan didn't have too many shots to save.
"There was the cross from Hameur Bouazza near the end which turned into a shot, but John dealt with that."