Ten-men Latics produced a spirited second-half display but were narrowly defeated by Derby County at the DW Stadium.
Latics had started the game brightly and could have gone ahead early on when James Vaughan missed a glorious opportunity but on 15 minutes they were reduced to 10 men when makeshift full back Kal Naismith was dismissed for pulling back Harry Wilson.
Soon afterwards Jack Marriott put the Rams ahead when he headed home Jayden Bogle’s cross.
The visitors then produced a 15 minute period of intense pressure as Latics struggled to stay in the game.
However, a re-shuffle by Paul Cook enabled the hosts to contain the visitors before half time and the 10 men went on to dominate in the second-half.
Latics’ best chance fell to Reece James, on his 19th Birthday, when he went through one on one with Scott Carson but his left footed effort couldn’t beat the Rams keeper.
Derby will certainly be relieved to have come away with all three points after Latics had matched Frank Lampard’s promotion chasers for much of the game.
Wigan drop a place to 16th in the Championship table and Derby move up to third.
Paul Cook made one change from the team which had drawn with Bolton Wanderers as James Vaughan started in place of Will Grigg.
Latics made the early running and threatened when Nathan Byrne broke down the left and crossed towards Vaughan, but the former Latics keeper Scott Carson just got to the ball first.
Latics should have been ahead moments later when Gary Roberts crossed for the Vaughan but the striker couldn’t make the vital connection with the goal at his mercy.
It proved to be a vital miss as on 15 minutes Latics were reduced to 10 men when Wilson was pulled back by the last man Naismith.
The hosts tried to stay composed but five minutes later Marriott produced a clinical headed finish from Jayden Bogle’s cross.
Derby were now in the ascendancy and Nathan Byrne’s goal-line clearance from a Wilson shot kept the hosts in the game.
To quell the storm Cook took decisive action and made a double change with Vaughan and Roberts replaced by Darron Gibson and Callum Connolly.
Mason Mount forced a good save from Christian Walton and at the other end James tested Carson from a free-kick just before half time.
Those expecting Latics to capitulate in the second-half were to be disappointed as they went on to dominate the proceedings. They seemed re-invigorated by Cook’s half time teamtalk and took the game to the Rams.
Morsy had an early half chance and then later fired a shot narrowly wide of Carson’s right hand post.
The best chance of the second-half however fell to the marauding full back James, the Chelsea loanee was through on goal but his left foot effort just couldn’t beat the Derby keeper.
Latics continued to press right up until the final whistle, with centre back Dan Burn getting forward to good effect on several occasions, but they couldn’t make the breakthrough and Derby held on for the three points.
Cook although clearly disappointed with the result, was proud of Latics’ performance against a team who will be in the promotion shake-up at the end of the season.
The character and determination of the squad players cannot be faulted at the moment, but it is such a pity that the high number of injuries has so far prevented Latics from making greater progress up the table.
The absence of so many regular members of the starting eleven has inevitably been hugely detrimental to their progress, and with Nick Powell now out until January, they will be desperately hoping for some good news on the injury front very soon.