Both of this season’s skippers combined in the dying moments of yesterday’s dramatic 2-1 victory at the DW Stadium, with Ben Watson providing the inviting free kick for Emmerson Boyce to head home and claim three crucial points.
It was a game packed full of action, with an early goal for Blackburn through Tommy Spurr and a turning point when Grant Hanley saw red for a raised arm that struck Nick Powell.
After the game Watson admitted that the red card made it even tougher to win the game, but believes that the fact Latics claimed three points is a testament to their character.
“We said let’s make sure we start brightly and not go a goal down.
“Despite doing the opposite, we showed great character to keep going and going and then eventually we got that winning goal.
“Going behind early on and then playing against 10 men actually makes things more difficult because then we’ve got to break down a team desperate to defend a 1-0 lead for 60 minutes.
“We knew we needed to score goals so we’re relieved that we got over the line in the end, but I think after the first goal you could sense a winner coming.”
The victory moved Latics up to 12th in the Championship, with two games in hand over all but one of the top half, leaving Watson satisfied that ground has been made going into the international break.
“It was an important game because with three games in hand over everyone we don’t want to slip up.
“If we win the two games in hand now we could see ourselves into the play offs.
“It’s important that we keep winning now to make sure that we stick closely to the teams above us.”
Comparing the game and the season, Watson added that Latics must remain patient, something he believes helped the team win against Rovers.
“Blackburn worked so hard to stop us, but we did very well to break down such a resolve.
“We knew if we were patient that we’d be able to work the ball wide and get ourselves in one-on-one and two-on-one situations.
“That’s an attitude we will need at moments through this season and we’ve shown more than one side to our game with a result like this.”