Rotherham manager Paul Warne admitted the defeat at Wigan was “a difficult pill to swallow”.
The Millers defended resolutely at the DW Stadium, but were eventually undone by a 73rd-minute winner from Wigan substitute James Vaughan.
Coming on the back of their midweek Carabao Cup tie against Premier League side Everton, Warne felt his side did not deserve to go back to South Yorkshire with nothing.
“It’s no excuse, but we didn’t get home until late on Wednesday night, whereas Wigan didn’t have a game,” he said. “As a result, I thought we looked a little bit jaded in the first half and it took us a bit of time to get going.
“I’d sort of try and take that first half out of my memory – we were pleased to get them in at 0-0.
“Wigan were comfortably the better team up to that point, without our goalkeeper making any real saves that I can remember.
I thought we looked a little bit jaded in the first half and it took us a bit of time to get going.Paul Warne
“At half-time we decided to push our defenders a lot higher up the pitch to force our midfielders to push a lot higher up the pitch and give our strikers some support.
“I’m obviously biased, but I’m also honest and I thought we were the better side in the second half.
“We were pushing for the goal, we had plenty of set-pieces, they had block after block and it just wouldn’t drop for us.
“Against an excellent Wigan side, I’m proud of the effort and how we went toe to toe with them. But at the same time I’m very disappointed to come away with nothing.”
Wigan Athletic: Walton, James, Dunkley, Kipre, Robinson, Lee Evans, Morsy, Connolly, Powell (McManaman 60), Windass (Garner 90), Grigg (Vaughan 60). Unused substitutes: Byrne, Bruce, Roberts, Jones.
Rotherham United: Rodak, Vyner, Raggett (Robertson 19), Wood (Proctor 77), Mattock, Taylor (Vassell 59), Vaulks, Ajayi, Manning, Williams, Smith. Unused substitutes: Palmer, Newell, Bilboe, Towell.
Referee: S Duncan (Tyne & Wear).