Gary Caldwell hailed the return of his Wigan Athletic team after watching them break their pre-season duck at Oldham last night.
Latics recorded their maiden win of the summer at the seventh attempt thanks to Michael Jacobs’ wonderful free-kick inside the final quarter against the ‘other’ Latics.
Caldwell had called for a reaction from his men to the ‘wake-up call’ of being battered 4-1 at League One outfit Rochdale last weekend.
And despite being made to fight all the way by their third-tier opponents, he was far happier with the performance put in by his players - which brought about a welcome first win of the summer.
“You don’t get anything for it, you don’t get any more than when you lose,” he told the Evening Post.
“It’s the performance that matters, and I thought tonight we were back to ourselves.
“We looked assured in possession, we looked very dominant at the back, and didn’t look like conceding until we made the changes.
“It was only when all the subs came on that they had their best opportunities in the game.
“But overall I’m delighted.”
Not that he was in danger of getting carried away with the result.
“It might be great for the fans to see their team winning” he added. “But for me it’s more about where we’re going as a team heading into the season.
“They’re the games that matter, they’re the ones we’ll be judged on and not these pre-season ones.”
Latics have only one more pre-season warm-up game pencilled in - at Fleetwood on Friday - before the big Championship kick-off at Bristol City on Saturday week.
They’ll at least travel to the Fylde coast in good spirits thanks to Jacobs delightful set-piece that flew into the corner of the net.
“It was brilliant from Michael, and great to see him score from a free-kick,” Caldwell gushed.
“He puts in so much practice, and it’s great when it comes off in a game.”
Caldwell was also pleased with new signing Jake Buxton, who made his debut just hours after joining from Derby on a three-year deal.
“Jake needs minutes, and he’ll be the first to tell you that,” Caldwell acknowledged.
“As a centre-back, the most important thing is your timing, and he’s only played 45 minutes so far.
“He needs match minutes, but we’re delighted to have him here.
“He’s a great player with Championship experience, and another great character to add to the strong dressing room we have.”