Gaffer Lee Johnson piled huge praise on his players after the 3-0 away victory over local rivals Rochdale on Saturday and believes his side can continue to challenge for the play-off spots.
A double from Aston Villa loanee Daniel Johnson and a penalty from Jonathan Forte sent over 3,000 Latics supporters back across the A627(M) delighted.
The result propelled Athletic into the play-off positions and the manager praised his players work ethic and mentality after the game.
He said: "I thought it was a very professional performance from us. There wasn't a lot in the game until the goal but I thought we looked solid throughout. I was really pleased with three or four individuals.
"The boys worked hard. They never stopped running right until the end and it was difficult for us. The 3-0 scoreline slightly flatters us a little bit because of the state of the play but we were very professional and strong as a unit. We limited them to little chances for Paddy Kenny to make.
"I think we can still improve. I thought our passing was nowhere near as good as it usually is and if we can get both the solidness and the strength to our unit right then we will certainly be a force."
Danny Philliskirk pitched in with three assists on Saturday and the manager added: "I thought Danny was fantastic. He never stopped running, shutting down and he was good on the ball as well.
"I thought him, Liam Kelly and Daniel Johnson were superb. All down the spine we were strong, not just in body but in mind as well. I can't pick many faults in a 3-0 away win against your local rivals with 3,200 of your fans here."
Without a seat to be had in the away stand, Johnson felt the supporters played a huge part in Saturday's success.
"I thought they were brilliant," admitted the 33-year-old. "It just goes to show that if you have got that backing of real strong away support it shows how positive it can be.
"It definitely spurred us on and it was good to get the first goal and we were quite comfortable in the end."
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