Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal admitted the 1-0 Sky Bet Championship victory at Wigan was all about the result rather than the performance.
A Wednesday side that had drawn 2-2 at Bristol City only three days earlier just about got back to winning ways, thanks to Ross Wallace’s deflected strike on 43 minutes.
In a game of precious few chances, and very little quality, it was enough to lift Wednesday back into the top six ahead of the Saturday programme.
“It was very important to win this game,” Carvalhal said.
“We were not in the same situation as Wigan, because we played three days before.
“In a short period of time we had to train and prepare for this game, whereas Wigan played Manchester United last weekend and had more rest.
“That made a difference in the last 15 minutes, when they pressed a lot more.
“We expected this and understand it, and we put one more player in the middle to try and counter it.
“We didn’t open it up, we didn’t take any risks, because we knew the legs of Wigan were fresher than ours.
“Probably last year we would have lost this kind of game but this year we know the competition a lot better, and we know what we must do.
“The performance was not good but the result was the important thing.”
Carvalhal had sprung a selection surprise before the game by pitching in new signing Jordan Rhodes for his debut, just two days after his move from Middlesbrough was officially ratified.
“He trained with us for three days, and he understands the way we want to play because he’s seen a lot of our games this season,” added the Wednesday boss.
“He is a clever player and we know he can upgrade the team.
“We decided to put him straight in, and we are very happy with him - the way he works and the way he fights.”
Wigan boss Warren Joyce was again left to reflect on a solid display against one of the division’s big guns, with nothing to show for it.
“It was a disappointing goal, a poor goal to concede,” the Wigan boss admitted.
“I thought there was a of effort, a lot of thought, a lot of commitment in the gam but we just lost our way for five or 10 minutes in the game just before half-time.
“I think the goal was avoidable, if you trace it back. We have a free-kick ourselves on the halfway line, and it’s not one where you even have to lump it long into their box.
“In those positions we would normally get it down and play, run the back four, and maybe get our breath back because they’ve just had a spell with the ball.
“We have to recognise that the Sheffield Wednesdays, the Newcastles, the Huddersfields of this league are going to have little bits of play, and we have to be on our mettle.
“We have to make sure we don’t concede at vital times like that - and we’ve conceded too many goals either late in games or just before half-time.”