'No surprise to see him score', insists Wigan Athletic boss
Paul Cook hailed matchwinner Jamal Lowe after his summer signing from Portsmouth secured Wigan Athletic's deserved victory over Nottingham Forest.
The Tricky Trees arrived at the DW Stadium knowing a win could take them top of the Championship.
But they were unable to prevent Latics picking up a fourth straight clean sheet at the DW.
And they were powerless to prevent Lowe grabbing the only goal 10 minutes before the break, after a nice one-two with Gavin Massey.
"That's what Jamal does - he breaks lines, he runs forward, he gets into the box and he can finish the kid," enthused Cook.
"He's got an excellent goalscoring record, so it's no surprise to see him score.
"He's deserved that goal, and I say the same to Kieffer Moore...just keep working, because their habits are good.
"The way football is now, it's a tough industry because people can't wait to level criticism at managers and players, but that's the game we're in."
Charlie Mulgrew - skipper for the day in the absence of the suspended Sam Morsy - almost made it 2-0 shortly after Lowe's opener.
But he saw a a brilliant free-kick curl around the wall and hit the far post, with goalkeeper Brice Samba beaten.
Forest came back into it in the second half, and substitute Lewis Grabban should have done better with a free header from six yards, which he directed straight at David Marshall.
But Latics had several chances to double their advantage, with substitute Kal Naismith being denied on three occasions by Samba.
The result sees Latics move up to 18th place in the table, five points ahead of the drop zone, thanks to their third home league win in a row.
"I thought we were good in the game, I enjoyed watching us play," added Cook.
It's another very strong home performance, and you'd struggle to name our best player because we had so many good performers.
"We looked a threat against a very strong Forest side.
"And at the other end, we defended very, very well.
"When you have those two things coming together in a football match, it usually ends up with a good result."
The result continued Latics' incredible record - stemming back to the start of last season - of being one of the strongest sides in the division on home soil, and one of the weakest on the road.
"I'd be here for a week if I had to explain the home and away form!" added Cook.
"If we could only improve that form away from home, it would see us getting to a position I think we'd all be happy with.
"But it's the same players, playing in the same formation, doing the same things we all try.
"It's not putting the onus on the players, but if you can do it at home then you can certainly do it away.
"The challenge for us now is to marry the two records together."