Uwe Rosler admitted Wigan Athletic had ‘too much quality in both boxes’ after seeing off his Fleetwood Town side 2-0 at the DW Stadium.
Latics moved four points clear at the top of League One thanks to first-half goals from Nick Powell and Dan Burn.
Having managed Powell during their time together at Wigan in the 2013/14 campaign, Rosler was well aware of the threat posed by the ex-Manchester United man.
But he was powerless to prevent it happening.
“Nick is a quality player, we all know that,” recognised the Fleetwood boss.
“He’s probably the best-paid player in this league, and obviously he showed why.
“Overall they had too much quality in both boxes for us.
“In the end they won 2-0, it looks like a comfortable win, and that is all that matters.
“They’re certainly heading in the right direction.
“You just look at the subs they made - they brought on (Gavin) Massey, (Max) Power, (Ivan Toney)...we brought on development players.
“That’s the difference.”
Powell’s goal inside seven minutes got Latics off to a flyer and, after Ashley Eastham had hit the bar with Fleetwood’s only real effort on goal, Burn made it two seven minutes before the break.
“It was a tough afternoon,” acknowledged Rosler. “The game didn’t start well, all of a sudden we’re 1-0 down.
“It was an error created out of youth, but after that we cut Wigan right open.
“I feel Wigan were very lucky not to have conceded in that period.
“But that last little bit of quality, in the final pass or the shot, in and around the box was missing.
“Then Wigan put the ball in a second time, and they get the second goal.
“That’s what disappoints me most - that they got two free headers.
“You can train and work on anything, but when you allow players free headers in the box, you are in trouble.
“We tried everything in the second half, we brought on offensive players.
“But they had too much experience to run down the clock.
“Overall, attitude-wise, the players have me everything.
“But you can see that we have problems at the moment when we have three or four of our best, most experienced, players unavailable.
“You look at Wigan, with the quality they have, they will wait and they will punish you.
“We know where we are, we have a realistic view of the situation, and I’m sure the club will work to get that right in January - because it’s needed.”