Paul Cook admitted Wigan Ahtletic’s 1-0 victory over West Brom was as much about providing a ‘response’ to their embarrassment at Preston as the three points.
After two weeks to stew over the Deepdale debacle, Latics got back to winning ways by turning over one of the favourites for promotion.
Latics had to wait until the 74th minute for Josh Windass to smash home the only goal, but Cook was the first to acknowledged it was the least the display deserved.
“I was just pleased with the performance first and foremost,” the Latics boss admitted.
“No matter how a game goes, as a manager you’re far more interested in how your team performs.
“On the back of the international break – and without doubt our worst performance under me at Preston a fortnight ago – the lads have shown what they’re all about.
“That performance at Preston hurt them, it hurt me and it hurt the 4,000 travelling fans we had with us.
“But we’ve bounced back excellently, and I thought we played well, everything about us.
“The lads who came in to the team were excellent, and I’m delighted with the win.
“We came up against a very strong West Brom side, who are in such a rich vein of form, free-scoring and capable of opening you up at will.
“But we defended really well, we were organised in what we wanted to do, and we carried that threat up front as well with Josh’s pace and the creativity of Nick Powell and Gary Roberts.”
The Baggies had arrived at the DW Stadium bang in form, but barely gave goalkeeper Christian Walton anything to do.
“When you play against such a free-scoring, quality team at our level, to remain so defensively tuned-in is great credit to the players,” Cook enthused.
“If you switch off for one second against the players they have, they will score.
“But I do think we deserved to win the game, I will say that.”
Wigan were on top for the majority of the game, and might have had a penalty at the start of the second half when Powell was fouled a blade of grass outside the penalty area.
Not that the Latics boss was keen to make a song and dance about it.
“I think the referee has had a tough job this afternoon,” Cook recognised.
“If it’s a penalty, it’s a penalty, if it’s not, it’s not.
“But people say results balance out over the course of a season, and I’m delighted we’ve got back to winning ways after Preston.
“If you get beat, I don’t mind that, because you can’t win every single week.
“But there’s a way to get beat. And if we had got beat today, I wouldn’t have had any qualms about that – which I couldn’t say at Preston.
“The balance of our team was right on this occasion, and the team was picked to give everyone their correct slots.”