Manager Lee Johnson remained upbeat despite losing his 13 game unbeaten run yesterday, after a 1-0 defeat away to league leaders, Bristol City.
Kieran Agard’s goal just before the hour mark was the goal that separated the two sides but Latics had chances to level the game.
Dominic Poleon had Athletic’s best chance but Robins’ goalkeeper Frank Fielding saved well to deny the striker. Johnson’s side pressed and pressed for an equaliser and fell just short but Johnson could not fault the effort of his players.
He said: "It was a good game. We certainly took the game to them in the first half. The areas where we thought we could exploit we did but we could not get the final ball or the final finish.
"I can’t ask anymore of the lads to go for it like they did. We put men forward, put men in the box and although we didn’t get many chances from it, our general play was good.
"We gave a good account of ourselves today. I’m very disappointed because I thought we could come here and win the game however it was not to be today."
The defeat was Latics’ first since the middle of August but the gaffer was keen to quickly look forward and not dwell on the result.
"As far as the run is concerned, we do need to build again but generally we will keep sticking to our principles,” the boss commented.
"We move on from this game now. I’ve told the players well done and we must learn from this. It was a top of the table clash with both teams in good form and it showed today."
Johnson had mixed feelings about coming back to his old stomping ground and being defeated but he reserved special praise for the 490 magnificent Latics supporters.
"I hate losing. It hurts especially when you come back to your old club who are top of the league. More importantly I wanted the points," said the 33-year-old.
"I thought our fans were fantastic today. There were a big section of them singing their heart out until the end and I want to thank them on behalf of the players and myself."