Steve Cooper insists his Swansea City team are reaping the reward for their resilient spirit away from home as they moved back into the top two in the Championship.
The Swans appeared to be sliding down the table a fortnight ago after one win in seven matches, but they have resurfaced with back-to-back victories over Cardiff City and Wigan.
Six days after their derby win, Cooper’s team maintained their unbeaten record on the road this season with a 2-1 victory over the Latics at the DW Stadium.
The winning goal came in the third minute of stoppage time when substitute Sam Surridge headed home a cross from Connor Roberts, who had also come off the bench.
Cooper said: “The reality is we defended them really well, and when you do that you always give yourself a chance to win the game.
“We left it until late, but it was a great cross, a great header and we’re all very happy.”
“Wigan are unbeaten here this year and amassed a load of their points at home last year as well. We knew that coming into the game.
“We said to the players that they are a really good team at home. Paul Cook is an excellent manager, he’s never done a bad job.
“We knew it was going to be tough. Even if we did have more control, we still knew there’d be moments we had to handle, but we did.”
Swansea took the lead after 12 minutes through Nathan Dyer, only for Wales striker Kieffer Moore to equalise nine minutes later from the penalty spot.
For most of the second period it was Wigan who looked the likelier to win it, with Jamal Lowe hitting the bar and both Moore and Sam Morsy seeing goal-bound efforts blocked.
But there was to be one more twist in the tale, and it was against the run of play, with Surridge heading home Roberts’ cross with seconds remaining.
Cooper added: “Having gone 1-0 up early, I think there was an opportunity for us to keep going and play well and dominate the game. And we are a little bit disappointed we weren’t able to capitalise on the good start we made, and gave away a poor goal.
“I know they had a lot of corners and balls into our box, but our goalie’s not really had to make a save in the game. We’ve given away a poor goal, but Freddie’s not had a save to make.
Wigan manager Paul Cook said: “Swansea are a good side, with good players, and they caused us problems in the first half with the way they moved the ball.
“We got to grips with that in the second half, we negated a good side to one which didn’t offer a threat – our goalie’s not touched the ball second half.
“We’ve created chances again, that’s the crux of it, and it’s the biggest thing in football. When those moments come in games, you must take them.”