Manager Richie Wellens hopes yesterday’s win over Bradford City can be used as a springboard for the rest of the season.
A wonder strike from Cameron Dummigan in the first half put Latics ahead, whilst a second half header from Aaron Holloway sealed a 2-1 win.
It was a nervy ending to the game as Bradford pulled a goal back but they held out for the win and Wellens was delighted with his players following the game.
He said: “In a weird way, we started the game probably the worst we have in the last six or seven games.
“That was probably due to the circumstances but we wanted to get at them early because we know they are a side struggling with confidence as well.
“On Thursday, I said in an interview that we needed something to spark us off into a good run and Cameron Dummigan’s strike is a special strike.
“I thought he was outstanding, along with other players and everyone stood up today and showed that with the character, we can pick wins up.
“I’m going to be honest, I didn’t enjoy any of the performance. I don’t want to play like that and it’s frustrating for a manager who wants to play their own way and has to change but that’s the first time in six or seven games that I’ve had two up front.
“Everyone pulled together and we got a great win. We hope that springboards into the rest of the season.
“We needed something today because it’s a tough game next week but there are games coming up after that where we can pick up some good points.
“In terms of confidence, I’m sure that’s given them a big boost.”
Dummigan’s 12th minute strike was a rocket from 30 yards which smashed in off the crossbar and Wellens was full of praise for his full back.
“That will my goal of the season,” he admitted. “There has been some good passing goals but in the circumstances, we needed someone to do something in a moment of crisis and he produced an unbelievable strike.
“He’s got it in his locker and I love Cammy to bits. He’s got got good potential to take his game to the next level.
“He’s got everything as a defender, he’s quick, his delivery is good when he concentrates and he can take his man on in the final third and he was one of five or six who was outstanding today.”
That was Athletic’s first home win of 2018 and he enjoyed the support from the SportsDirect.com Park crowd. “It’s always good,” he said.
“It’s dead easy to criticise in football. I’m a young manager and I hadn’t won in nine games before today.
“Who is the best manager in the Premier League this year? Pep? I’d say Sean Dyche. He would be up there but he’s not won in 10, so it can happen.
“The true moments of a manager is can you get through these crisis moments and come out the other side?
“Can I improve as a person and as a manager when I’m going through these bad periods?
“I’ve gone through a bad spell but I want to keep positive. One thing that I have got, my players are fighting and giving everything to try and get a win week in, week out.
“The biggest compliment to me is that my players fight for me every week and I thank them for that.”