Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi believes the important 2-1 win at his former club Bolton can be the Latics' springboard to Premier League safety.
Goals from Gary Caldwell and James McArthur handed Roberto Martinez's men their first top-flight win in 10 games.
Victory was not enough to lift them off the foot of the table, but it did close the gap on nearest rivals Bolton to just a point.
Only two points separate Wigan from 16th placed Queens Park Rangers, with Blackburn and Wolves also in the thick of a tight relegation battle.
Al Habsi insists Saturday's win at the Reebok Stadium was a deserved reward for his team's recent hard work and is confident they will use the result to secure survival.
"From this game on I think it will change a lot," said the Oman international.
"The fans will be more confident in the team and even the players will believe in themselves more.
"This is the biggest three points of the season.
"It is special for everybody because it was a big derby game and this three points takes us very close.
"If we had lost the gap would have been huge."