Wigan moved confidently into a play-off slot with an excellent 3-1 victory at promotion rivals Ipswich Town.
Two goals by Republic of Ireland winger James McClean and one by former Norwich defender Leon Barnett gave Latics the points despite going behind to Tommy Smith’s 19th minute opener.
Uwe Rösler’s men have now won an incredible eight consecutive games. The unbeaten run has included away victories against Championship challengers Brighton, Nottingham Forest and now Ipswich plus Premier League opposition Cardiff City and Manchester City in the FA Cup.
On a sunny day in Suffolk, Ipswich started briskly and tried to unsettle Wigan with some direct attacking play which is typical of Mick McCarthy’s teams. They went ahead when Smith volleyed headed home after the Wigan defence failed to clear following a free kick.
But Latics are no longer a team who buckle in adversity and they were level within two minutes. McClean lashing the ball into the net from Marc-Antoine Fortune’s low cross after a surging run by Emmerson Boyce.
Luke Hyam should have restored the Ipswich lead but he wasted a glorious opportunity blasting the ball high over the cross-bar from only 10 yards out.
Just before half time Wigan took a firm grip on the game when Barnett headed in following Jordi Gomez’s free kick to the far post.
In the second half Wigan demonstrated their greater quality by dominating possession and creating a number of good chances to increase their lead.
Latics best opportunity came with a three versus one break, Martyn Waghorn feeding James McArthur, but Fortune’s tame effort was blocked by Town skipper Luke Chambers.
Nick Powell came on for Waghorn on 63 minutes and quickly set about causing problems for the Tractor Boys back line.
Gomez was having one of his best games for Latics and he nearly replicated his first half free kick on 72 minutes when the ball was delivered to the far post but this time Barnett could not quite make the vital connection.
But it was not long before Gomez did produce another stunning through ball when he released Fortune down the right.
The big striker produced a low cross which evaded everyone apart from McClean at the far post who finished clinically to send the Latics up to fifth place in the table and severely damage the Tractor Boys play-off aspirations.
Unfortunately mid way through the second period Wigan lost another player to the treatment table when Barnett limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury.
Wigan have already lost Ben Watson, Chris McCann and Roger Espinoza due to injury and it looks as though the push for promotion and FA Cup run is stretching the squad to its very limits.
It is likely that Rösler will have to once again dip into the loan market to strengthen his increasingly depleted squad. They have already played 53 matches so far this season with plenty more to come if they are to be promoted and to make the FA Cup final.
Yeovil Town are next up on Tuesday night and three points are imperative if Latics want to consolidate their position in the play-off places.