HULL CITY manager Nigel Pearson admitted his Tigers side were flattered by the final scoreline in their third round defeat to Premier League Wigan Athletic.
Mohamed Diame netted twice as Wigan booked their place in the fourth round with victory over Hull for the second successive season.
The midfielder scored the only goal of a low-key first half in the 21st minute before teenage striker Callum McManaman grabbed his first for the Latics 11 minutes after the break.
The game really came to life in the final quarter of an hour as substitute Nick Barmby netted either side of Diame's second but there was not to be a final twist as the visitors held on.
The sides were meeting each other in the third round of the FA Cup for the second successive season, with Wigan enjoying a 4-1 victory at the DW Stadium.
But while Pearson – appointed as manager in the summer – took some positives, he was forced to concede his side did not deserve to go through.
He said: "If I'm honest, the scoreline at the end makes it look a little bit closer than it was. I think we were undone with a bit of pace and power and athleticism and they were by far the better side.
"I was disappointed we didn't get amongst them a little bit more and put them under more pressure.
"We talked about the tempo of that game before the start and we just didn't get about the field enough.
"We finished the game pretty well but we were also very open at the back."
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez praised his fringe players for seizing their chance on a day when his side's top-flight quality shone through.
"We came here with a clear determination to be very professional, to give an opportunity to players that haven't been playing too much this season and I felt the way we applied ourselves was very professional," said Martinez.
"We controlled the game from the beginning, probably we scored at the right times but every time we went forward, especially in the second half, we looked like we were going to score.
"It was pleasing for us in the last 10 minutes to be able to send on the youngsters to enjoy the moment and the experience of how to defend a lead, and I felt the whole exercise was a real success."
Hull City: Duke, Solano, Zayatte, Gerrard, Dawson, Harper, Ashbee, Bullard (Koren 61), Stewart (Devitt 71), Fryatt, Simpson (Barmby 61). Unused substitutes: Oxley, Cooper, Holohan, Bradley.
Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, Lopez (Robinson 63), Steven Caldwell, Boyce, De Ridder, Gomez, Thomas, Diame, McArthur (Redmond 80), Figueroa (Mustoe 87), McManaman. Unused substitutes: Nicholls, Golobart, Buxton, Morris.
Referee: M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).
Man of the match: Matt Duke.
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