GARY Caldwell admitted to being both ‘very happy’ and ‘obviously disappointed’ after Wigan Athletic were held to a 1-1 at rock-bottom Crewe.
Latics moved up a place to fourth in the table with Coventry losing at Southend.
But they lost ground on Gillingham, who beat play-off chasing Peterborough, and failed to make the most of Walsall only drawing at home to Blackpool and Burton’s surprise home defeat to struggling Shrewsbury.
The visitors had led through Reece Wabara’s 20-yard rocket on 16 minutes, and ought to have made far more of their first-half dominance.
An inability to add to their tally kept Crewe interested, though, and the home side levelled just before the break thanks to Bradden Inman.
Both teams had chances to win it in a far more even second period, leaving Caldwell to reflect on what might have been.
“I thought we were the dominant team right throughout the game,” the Latics boss acknowledged.
“They scored on a breakaway from our corner, which is disappointing from our point of view.
“It’s happened three or four times now - conceding from our corner - and we need to be better with our delivery and set up better behind it.
“Also, if we have to stop the game, we have to be more ruthless in preventing counter-attacks.
“But at the other end we created numerous opportunities.
“We’ve played worse than that and won games this season.
“The performance, I’m very happy with.
“The result, I’m obviously disappointed with, because we came here to win the game.”
Latics couldn’t have had a better start, taking the lead in fine fashion with a marvellous strike that was in from the second it left new-boy Wabara’s right foot.
“We said before we went out that we needed to take shots from outside the box,” Caldwell revealed.
“Reece caught up it really well, and he played the position really well all game.
“He’s not been here long to work on it, but you could see the improvement in him and how high he was getting up the pitch, and how much of a threat he was in the attacking third.”
Caldwell could not be accused of not going for it at the end, even going as far as withdrawing Haris Vuckic - who was only on the field as a 30th-minute substitute for the injured Michael Jacobs - to accommodate an extra centre-forward in the last quarter.
“Everyone has to play their part, and Haris was great when he came off,” reported the Scot.
“He wished the two lads who were going on all the best, and he understood the reason behind the change which was to help the team to do something different in the game.
“We’re a team, and that’s something we’re always speaking about.”
Caldwell also expressed his regret at Latics not being able to reward a season’s best travelling army of 2,257 with three points.
“It was incredible, and we’ve had fantastic backing all season,” he added.
“Again today they came out in huge numbers for a League One club, and I think they see a team that’s playing an exciting brand of football with real confidence.
“I’m just sorry we couldn’t give them the win they deserved, but I’m sure they’ll be happy with the effort and commitment the guys put in.”