Owen Coyle paid tribute to his Wigan side after they kept their Europa League hopes alive by drawing 1-1 with Group D leaders Rubin Kazan.
On-loan midfielder Nick Powell scored for the second successive Europa League match to maintain Wigan's unbeaten record in the competition.
The goal keeps the Championship side in second place in the section, two points behind the Russians, last season's beaten quarter-finalists.
"We knew they were a quality side and they showed that. All credit to the lads, they strictly stuck to their task and scored a great goal through Nick Powell," said Coyle.
"I think everything pleased me. I was certainly disappointed by the goal, but we looked a threat all night.
"Their goalkeeper made a wonder save with the last kick off the ball from Marc-Antoine Fortune. We thought we were worthy of three points but we were delighted with the application.
"It puts us in a nice position and our destiny's in our own hands. That's what we want. If we go unbeaten over the last three games, it should be enough to qualify."
Powell, with Wigan on a temporary basis from Manchester United, added: "They've been in the Champions League before so we knew it would be a tough game. We had opportunities. I had a couple, and Marco at the end.
"I thought we might have popped it, but I think a draw was the fair result really. We knew if we got a result here and a result away to Rubin we'll have a great chance of qualifying."