PATRICK Bamford scored the only goal as Wigan Athletic crashed to a 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough.
The home side went top of the Championship with the three points, courtesy of a deflected strike on the 20-minute mark.
But it was far from comfortable as Latics threw everything at them in the second period.
With Marc-Antoine Fortune, Martyn Waghorn and William Kvist off the bench, Latics were knocking at the door for long periods.
But profligacy in front of goal again proved to be their downfall, as Fortune, James McClean and Jermaine Pennant couldn’t take chances inside the penalty area.
Latics chief Malky Mackay believed his side were unfortunate not to take at least a share of the spoils.
“I’m really disappointed we didn’t get anything out of the game,” Mackay said.
“I don’t think it’s outrageous to suggest we deserved something today.
“Especially in the second half, we went toe-to-toe with Middlesbrough - one of the best teams in the division - and we’re disappointed.
“I thought we were immense in the second half - McClean was a driving force, Fortune made an impact, and we had four good chances inside 12 yards that we couldn’t take.
“It’s something Wigan Athletic have had since day one of the season.
“But that group of players that we’ve had here for the last two months are giving me everything.
“Their performances are belying where we are in the table.
“I wish I’d had that group from day one when I walked in, but it wasn’t to be.
“At least our fans are seeing performances where our team is going toe-to-toe with teams at the top of the table.”