Wigan captain Gary Caldwell believes the club's survival vindicates Roberto Martinez's decision to stick to their footballing principles.
Martinez's side guaranteed their Premier League survival with a 1-0 win against Blackburn at Ewood Park that relegated their hosts.
And it completed a dramatic turnaround in fortunes for the Latics.
They have now won six of their last eight games after winning just four of the previous 29.
And while that poor start still annoys their 30-year-old Scottish skipper, he takes great satisfaction from their finish to the season.
The defender told Sky Sports: "Our start to the season wasn't good enough and we have to be better than that but all credit to everyone at the football club, when we had to dig in we did.
"It's tinged with a bit of regret because I think we could have been better at the start of the season."
Asked how much credit his manager deserves for their survival, Caldwell added: "Great credit.
"When everyone else starts panicking and the whole world wants to tell you, 'you're going down' I think he's the one man who stays calm and stays true to his principles and plays good football.
"That's all credit to him to get that through to the players and for us to carry that out.
"We've shown great belief in our system and our style of play and it has reaped rewards.
"This has to be a platform for the football club to progress and move on and be higher up the table next year and really start achieving something."
The goal that guaranteed Wigan's survival came with just three minutes to go at Blackburn from the head of Antolin Alcaraz.
And the Paraguayan defender feels the team's improved form is due to hard work and good luck.
Alcaraz said: "I think we deserve this because we've been working hard in the last five or six games.
"I think before it was a little bit different. We had bad luck and in the end we've had everything - good luck and performances from the team.
"What we've also had is everyone available for the team in the last month - making more competition.
"This is a result for working hard and believing."