UWE Rosler hailed skipper Emmerson Boyce as a ‘symbol’ of Wigan Athletic after his match-winning role in sending Latics back to Wembley.
Latics once again defied the odds to record a 2-1 victory at Manchester City to book an FA Cup semi-final showdown with Arsenal next month.
The goals came from Jordi Gomez and James Perch – the former a first-half penalty and the latter a vital strike moments after the restart.
But it was real backs-to-the-wall stuff once Samir Nasri had equalised midway through the second period.
And only a superhuman block from Boyce in the closing stages to deny Edin Dzeko a tap-in preserved Wigan’s narrow advantage - and allowed them to plan their next trip to Wembley.
“I just saw the block - unbelievable,” said Rosler after the game.
“I’m a big believer that you need match-winners at both ends - not only in the attacking box, but in your own box.
“That tackle was a match-winning, decisive moment for us.
“It showed the desire and the willpower we have at the club. I can only take my hat off to the players, and Emmerson is a symbol of that - not only today but ever since I’ve worked in the club.”
The victory further complicates Wigan’s hectic fixture schedule, with Sheffield Wednesday up next in the Championship on Wednesday.
Chris McCann is a massive doubt after being forced off at half-time with a leg injury.
“I felt everything was working very well and I was a little bit concerned that we lose the momentum when Chris went off,” Rosler added.
“I hope Chris will recover in time for Wednesday, although I’m not sure.
“We do have other players that have to step up and play, and the squad rotation has worked very well since I came to the club.
“Everyone is needed, everybody is contributing to our aims we have this season, and that’s the only way to have success.”