Paul Warne watched play-off chasing Rotherham pick up a deserved 0-0 draw at the DW Stadium - then claimed Wigan Athletic are ‘the best team in the league by a country mile’.
Latics were thwarted in their attempts to pull further clear at the top of League One, although they remain top of the pile with Blackburn being held at Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury not playing.
Rotherham could even have snatched all three points, with Ryan Williams and Michael Smith coming close, the latter inside 30 seconds!
But Warne - a former Latics striker - was happy to return to South Yorkshire with a point.
“We asked the lads to come and play brave when we were in possession and frustrate when we didn’t have the ball,” he acknowledged.
“I felt pretty relaxed before the game and we tried to give the lads as much confidence as we could.
“We said: ‘If we’re not good enough today, fair enough, but don’t be beaten through a lack of belief or a lack of energy’.
“I thought we started the game really well, could have gone one or two up in the first five or six minutes, weathered the storm a little bit.
“But from the start of the second half, Wigan were excellent.
“They’re the highest scorers in the league, they’re probably champions-elect, and the best team in the league by a country mile.
“But I thought we defended pretty well, and I’m just really proud of the lads really.
“We asked them to play brave against a very good team and I think they did, so it’s a good day at the office.
“I think at the end, no-one could complain - Rotherham or Wigan fans - that a point was shared really.”
The result cements Rotherham’s fourth spot in the table - the best of ‘the rest’ behind the top three that have proved head and shoulders above the other 21 teams.
“I think a few teams around us were hoping that we would drop points today,” admitted Warne.
“I think the results have gone quite well, so we’re just really pleased.
“We watch games and I’ve got to give credit to all my backroom staff, I think we got the tactics spot on, the best we could hope for.
“And on another day, we might have nicked a goal - but it wasn’t to be.”