Keith Curle hailed “an important win” for Northampton after they beat Wigan 3-2 in an entertaining game at the DW Stadium.
The visitors flew out of the blocks and were two goals up inside 21 minutes through Ryan Watson and Sam Hoskins.
Joe Garner pulled one back from the penalty spot just past the hour mark after Tom Pearce had been fouled inside the box, before Caleb Chukwuemeka restored the two-goal advantage.
After Tom James headed Wigan’s second goal, striker Kyle Joseph almost equalised on his league debut, only to hit a post in the closing stages.
And after six defeats in their last seven league games, Curle was just happy to hear the final whistle.
“It’s an important win for us,” said the Cobblers boss.
“I think in the first half there were a lot of pleasing things.
“In the second half, we looked like a team that hasn’t got that winning habit.
“But you start that by getting your first win.
“We had to dig in during the second half, but we had a couple of chances to put the game to bed.
“It’s pleasing to see it out because 2-0 is always a difficult score.
“But you’d obviously take leading 2-0 than having to chase 2-0.
“It’s about having that calmness and that belief and that game understanding because you don’t want to sit back and invite pressure too much.
“But also you don’t want to go gung-ho and leave yourself exposed.”
For Wigan manager John Sheridan it was the same old story – a poor first half in which his side gave themselves too much to do.
“People are probably sick and tired of me saying the same thing, and they’d be dead right,” he said.
“We just find ourselves gifting the opposition chances to score goals, and we go in at half-time 2-0 down again.
“It’s the same pattern of performance, and we need to get to the bottom of it.
“I can’t stand losing, it really hurts me so much. And we’re on a bad, bad run.
“But you can see the team we put out there, we’ve so many injuries, and they’ve all come at the same time.
“The team was makeshift, very young, but I have to give them credit for the second-half performance.
“I tell the young players to be brave in their decisions, and not to be afraid of making mistakes.
“But I’m looking at players in that second half that, for some reason, just weren’t in the game in the first half.
“We just need to get on the front foot a lot earlier and we’ll start picking up some points.”