Jordi Gomez’s late winner was Wigan’s reward for a brave performance at Cardiff City following the surprise sacking of manager Gary Caldwell on Tuesday.
Latics were under pressure for long periods of the game but survived the onslaught to secure their first away win and third victory of the season.
The team have now only lost one of their last six games and have only conceded three goals during that period.
The players led by Caldwell’s coaching staff Graham Barrow, Peter Atherton and Joe Parkinson showed great determination to get the victory for their former manager.
The coaching staff made two changes from the Brighton game with Nick Powell and Max Power replaced by Yanic Wildschut and Jordi Gomez.
Cardiff had the first effort on goal with Anthony Pilkington forcing Adam Bogdan into a reaction save direct from Peter Wittingham’s corner. Pilkington then forced Bogdan into another save soon afterwards.
Latics were under plenty of pressure and Reece Burke had to head off the line after a Cardiff corner.
The away team had their first effort on target on 35 minutes when Wildschut drove into the box but his final effort lacked the power to trouble Ben Amos.
Cardiff continued to have the better of it and Sean Morrison’s header went wide of the target following a Wittingham free-kick.
The teams went into the interval level but Latics nearly took the lead early in the second half. First Will Grigg’s shot was deflected narrowly wide by Morrison before Jake Buxton headed just over the crossbar from a corner.
Cardiff retaliated with a Bamba header from another Wittingham free-kick. Aron Gunnarsson then threatened but his powerful shot from the edge of the area was well saved by Bogdan.
Nathan Byrne replaced Wildschut after 56 minutes, and the diminutive winger was soon in the action setting up Reece Burke whose cross was inches away from Will Grigg in the six yard box.
Grigg made way for Craig Davies after 73 minutes and Latics started to have more of the game.
Shaun MacDonald had his angled drive well saved by Amos at his near post after 80 minutes and on 86 minutes Latics made the breakthrough.
Substitute Davies fed Perkins down the left hand side and his low cross found Gomez who slid in at the far post to give Latics a vital goal.
Cardiff desperately went in search of the equaliser and with five minutes of added time it looked as though they might get it.
Bamba blasted over from a good position and then in the 97th minute captain Stephen Warnock cleared Joe Bennett’s shot off the line to ensure that Latics secured a memorable victory.
The performance demonstrated that the squad Caldwell had assembled is capable of establishing themselves in the division.
The team spirit, determination and commitment of the players has been good all season and Latics are now only one point behind 21st place Cardiff and only six points away from a mid table position.
The decision by the Wigan hierarchy to dismiss Caldwell is looking increasingly ridiculous. They have sacked a very good manager and unfortunately the current front runners to replace him look uninspiring.
The club have suffered from poor managerial appointments in the recent past, Owen Coyle and Malky Mackay being prime examples, so making the right decision this time is crucial if the club are to maintain their Championship status.