Owen Coyle could not hide his delight after Latics’ 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the first home win of the season.
Speaking to Latics Player, the Manager pointed to the numerous qualities shown by his team during the 90 minutes to come from behind, take a well-deserved lead and hold out for the victory under pressure after the break.
He said: “Our group is still in its infancy and we’ve come up against a team who took all before them last season and were top of the table at the start of the day with an unbeaten record.
“So we gave them the respect they deserved but at the same time knew we had to apply ourselves in the right manner to win the game, and that’s just what we did.
“What was particularly pleasing was the range of qualities we showed throughout the course of the game; there was swagger and arrogance in how we moved the ball around in possession, a great reaction to the early setback from both the players and the fans, and then the determination to fend away what they threw at us in the second half.
“Towards the end of the game they bombarded us with some high balls but the defence were superb and saw away the danger time and again, so much so that Scott Carson barely had a save to make.”
Coyle had said previously that defensive lapses had proved costly for his team, but was extremely pleased with how his back-line performed against Billy Davies’ side, with debutant Thomas Rogne impressing:
“We said in recent weeks that our defending had to improve, and we looked a lot more solid this afternoon, and we’ll continue to improve all over the field as the season progresses.
“There were a few changes made at the start of the day with Jean Beausejour dropping in at left back and Thomas Rogne, who we’ve been desperate to get on the pitch for weeks now, making a very impressive debut. He was strong, powerful and looked at home from the first kick until the last.
“But all over the field we showed real desire to win the game; Marc-Antoine Fortune led the line really well, Shaun Maloney excited us whenever he got on the ball and all the midfield lads really worked their socks off.
“Overall, we were well worth the three points and the win gets us back up towards where we want to be in the table as well as a platform to move forward.”