Wigan moved up to 12th in the Championship table with a hard-fought win at play-off rivals Reading. Uwe Rösler’s team dominated the opening half and were two ahead in the opening 12 minutes.
Chris McCann side footed home from the edge of the area on 10 minutes after good work by James McClean and the Latics doubled their lead when Nick Powell finished well after a mistake by Reading defender Alex Pearce had gifted the opportunity.
Billy Sharp wasted a great opportunity to get Reading back into the game when he skied his penalty over the Wigan cross-bar.
Russian forward Pavel Pogrebnyak reduced the deficit for the Royals with a powerful header past the returning Ali Al-Habsi.
But Wigan held on to record a second consecutive victory with Uwe Rösler in charge.
The Wigan manager made three changes to the side that started the abandoned game at Sheffield Wednesday. The Omani international goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi returning to the starting line-up for the first time since last season when he replaced the injured Scott Carson. Jean Beausejour and Callum McManaman were also recalled as Stephen Crainey and Jordi Gomez moved to the substitutes’ bench.
As in the previous games under Rosler, the team started in positive mood and gradually gained control of the game. After only ten minutes McClean’s attempted cross was blocked, but McCann collected the ball on the edge of the area and calmly side footed past Alex McCarthy in the Royal’s goal.
Two minutes later Latics were two ahead, when defender Pearce allowed a hopeful punt up field to evade him and Powell nipped in to beat McCarthy with a low drive.
Reading were all at sea and it looked like Wigan would increase their lead further but a combination of some poor finishing and a little bad luck meant there was no further score at half time.
Will Keane and Jordi Gomez surprisingly replaced the dangerous pair of Callum McManaman and Nick Powell at half time.
Reading responded to their half time team talk with a much improved performance in the second period.
Early in the half the Royals had a great opportunity to get back into the game when they were awarded a penalty. McCann stupidly pulled down Chris Gunter in the penalty area, but Billy Sharp blazed his spot kick high over the cross-bar.
Pogrebnyak made the Wigan fans a little nervous on 68 minutes when he powerfully headed past Al Habsi.
Chances started to come at both ends. Substitute Keane showed excellent skill to evade the Royals defence but he dragged his shot wide of goal and McCann burst through late on but fired over.
Danny Guthrie went close from a free-kick, Pogrebnyak narrowly failed to reach an Adam Le Fondre cross and the big Russian was also denied by the post.
Wigan deserved to take the three points after the dominant first period but Sharp and Reading will rue the missed penalty. Latics continue to show improvement under the new manager and they will be hoping to consolidate their progress with home games coming up against Birmingham City and Burnley.