Jacobs' cracker took the biscuit - Cook
Paul Cook hailed a moment of '˜quality' from Michael Jacobs that saw off Northampton and lifted Wigan Athletic up to second in League One.
Jacobs - Northampton born and bred, and a former Cobblers favourite - decided a game that was tighter than it needed to have been, with Latics unable to put their opponents away.
The only goal came 11 minutes into the second half, when Jacobs took delivery of the ball just inside the Northampton half, and advanced forward before lashing a 30-yard strike into the corner of the net.
“The goal from Michael was quality,” gushed the Latics boss, who has seen his side record three wins in a week - with no goals conceded - since suffering their only league defeat to date at Shrewsbury.
“Great credit to him to be able do that.
“As a manager I’ve been there on nights like this, and sometimes you have to take the 0-0, shake hands and move on.
“Sometimes teams want you to push on for the win, and that’s what happened to us at Shrewsbury.
“That’s football - sometimes you end up playing the game the way you believe is not correct.
“The players showed they’ve learnt from that day.
“To bounce back with three wins shows great credit to the players.
“I’m really pleased for them for what they’ve achieved.”
Try as they might, Latics couldn’t find a killer second goal, with skipper Sam Morsy hitting the post in stoppage-time with a shot that rolled down the goalline before being cleared.
And their failure to put the game to bed almost came back to bite them on the backside in the final quarter, with former Latics defender Leon Barnett forcing a stunning save from Jamie Jones.
“I thought we played very well, I really thought we did,” enthused Cook.
“We restricted a very strong Northampton team to only really one chance in the whole game.
“You look back on the game, and we’ve had some really good opportunities to score some more goals.
“It’s going to get frustrating for us at times, with teams coming here and digging in, but I thought the fans were excellent.
“They showed a lot of patience tonight, and it’s important we remain on the same page.
“We’re playing a brand of football that is very attack-based, it’s full-backs getting forward, we’re trying to make it exciting to watch.”
Town boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admitted his men had been beaten by a side he fully expects to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.
“Wigan is going to be a team that is going to be up there challenging for the title,” the Dutchman acknowledged.
“Sadly it wasn’t to be for us, but we always knew it was going to be a hard match.
“They are a very good team, but we tried to play football, we tried to pass the ball.
“It was always going to take a special goal to win it and they came up with one.”