WIGAN boss Roberto Martinez admitted the vital victory over Norwich was the “most satisfying, significant and pleasing” of the whole campaign.
Arouna Kone’s goal nine minutes from time ensured Latics collected all three points from a disappointing encounter that the home side just about shaded.
But it looked as though honours would end even before the Ivorian latched on to Jordi Gomez’s exquisite through ball and blasted past Lee Camp into the bottom corner.
The result lifted Latics out of the bottom three and puts them within touching distance of the rest of the sides in the bottom half, with a game in hand on most of them.
It was a day of firsts – Wigan’s first home clean sheet of the season, their first-ever league win over Norwich, and also their first success following an international break since 2009.
“Before the game I knew it was going to be a really tricky fixture,” Martinez acknowledged.
“First because we’ve never managed to win a game after an international break.
“We are very unusual with the amount of internationals we have, and to have 13 players leaving the club makes things very difficult from a physical point of view.
“And because of that reason we couldn’t be our normal selves in possession. I don’t think we were stylish as we normally are, but what we showed is an incredible character.”
Joel Robles was a virtual spectator as Latics restricted the Canaries to no shots on goal in the entire 90 minutes, which Martinez acknowledged was a great effort.
“Every player found a way to help the team to keep Norwich very quiet,” Martinez added.
“To restrict any team in the Premier League to no shots on target requires massive effort.
“And then it was that little bit of quality at the other end.
“The character we showed made it probably our most pleasing and satisfying performance of the season.
“It was a team effort with tired legs doing everything needed to get us over the finish line.”