Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes his battlers can continue growing in Premier League stature and avoid relegation.
The Latics dragged themselves off the bottom with a morale-boosting 2-1 victory - only their second success of the campaign - at fellow strugglers Sunderland on Saturday.
Martinez acknowledges Wigan face a tough season ahead due to a shoestring budget but reckons their lowly position is not a true reflection of their ability.
And he has backed his players to use the Stadium of Light win as a springboard for moving up the table.
The success came hot on the heels of the controversial 3-3 draw against Blackburn, where Rovers scored from an illegal corner, which ended Wigan's shocking run of eight straight losses.
Martinez said: "I know we are good enough to get more points than last season.
"If we want to be lazy and assess teams by the table, it's going to give us a lot of false information.
"If you look at the two points we should never have lost last week, we would have been on the same points as Sunderland. We are two completely different football clubs with different budgets and different aspirations.
"We need to get the points we got last season and it's going to be a challenging year as it always is.
"But the truth is in football you need momentum. It's a team game and you need to play with confidence and belief.
"I just feel that in the last two weeks, the team has played without the fear we have shown before.
"This group of players has matured so much in the last few weeks. I am extremely proud."
Skipper Gary Caldwell agrees with his manager's view and claims drawing conclusions from the current table is pointless.
He added: "People outside the club continue to write us off and for them our season may well be over.
"They don't know how strong we are and what we are capable of. We need to show them."