Paul Cook felt Wigan Athletic paid a high price for not holding on to their lead for longer than three minutes as Leeds United became the first team to win at the DW Stadium this term.
Reece James put Latics in front with only six minutes on the clock, curling home a wonderful free-kick from 30 yards beyond Leeds goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
However, Pablo Hernandez levelled within three minutes, after good work down the left from Mateusz Klich.
And Kemar Roofe took advantage of a mix-up between Christian Walton and Cedric Kipre to secure all three points within 39 seconds of the restart.
“We got off to a great start, and I don’t know how long it was before Leeds were level, but you have to hang on to those moments,” Cook mused.
“We wanted to pursue Leeds and get after them in terms of how they play the game.
“They’re a very free-flowing, attacking team, and fair play to them.
“They play the way I think everyone would want to play the game.
“And I think they will go very close this year.”
Having been rocked on their heels in the opening quarter, Cook also felt Latics were their own worst enemies by not being switched on at the start of the second period.
“Leeds are an excellent side, let’s make no bones about that,” he acknowledged.
“We worked very hard in our pursuit of getting a result.
“But to lose such a key goal so soon in the second half has had a massive influence on the game.
“And you’d probably say it was a deserved victory over the 90 minutes.
“Leeds had that little bit of quality which they showed at regular points in the game.
“We maybe didn’t have that little bit of quality, or confidence when we most needed it.”
Latics will take heart from pushing he new able-toppers all he way despite missing first-choice front four Michael Jacobs, Nick Powell, Gavin Massey and Will Grigg.
Not that Cook wanted to use that as an excuse after the game.
“Football’s not about budgets, it’s about the 11 players you send out on the pitch,” he added.
“We’ll get our injured lads back when we get them back, but in the meantime we’ll keep plugging away as best we can.”