Tony Philliskirk hailed the togetherness of his players after a tense penalty shootout win against Premier League side AFC Bournemouth in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.
The youth team booked their spot in the fourth round of the competition, but were taken all the way by the Cherries.
After the scores were level at 1-1 at the end of the 120 minutes, the game would be decided by penalties.
Ryan Leonard had headed Latics into the lead before Bournemouth striker Sam Surridge equalised at the end of the first half.
Goalkeeper Chris Renshaw was the hero of the penalty shootout, not only keeping Latics in the tie, but saving Dan O’Sullivan’s spot kick to win the game for Latics.
That caused scenes of jubilation amongst players and staff, something which Philliskirk praised: “It was exciting and I thought it was a really good win.
“I thought they probably had the two best technical players on the pitch but I thought we had great spirit and I think that’s what got us through at the end.
"To get through to the fourth round is a great achievement for a small club like us.
“Obviously we had the disappointment of losing Jamie Stott before the game who is our captain but his ankle had swollen up after training so we had to rearrange our tactics.
“Alex Read, Ryan Leonard, Dylan King, Brendy Glackin, Jake Hargreaves and Kallum Mantack were all players who had been injured for a long time, but they came back this evening and kept going until the end, and that’s the way they are.
"Their spirit and commitment is second to none and I can’t fault their effort. After what has been a sad day with David Dunn and his staff, hopefully this has put a few smiles on the faces of the people here at the club.”
The boss reserved praise for one of his outstanding performers: “When Ronaldo missed his penalty I thought that was it but Chris Renshaw, who I thought was outstanding all night, kept us in it.
"He’s been like that in every game so far in the Youth Cup and his reputation has been enhanced week by week.”
Latics will now face Luton Town at SportsDirect.com Park in the next round of the competition with details of the tie to be confirmed in due course.