Sabri Lamouchi admitted Nottingham Forest had been lucky against plucky Wigan, as his side struggled to a narrow 1-0 win at the City Ground.
The Forest boss warned that his players must raise their standards when Blackburn visit on Wednesday if they are to collect another three points.
Tobias Figueiredo’s 60th-minute header was ultimately enough to secure victory for the home side, but they also needed a penalty save from Brice Samba to deny Josh Windass after Alfa Semedo had brought down Joe Geldhardt in the 77th minute.
The Forest keeper had to make three further saves to keep Wigan at bay, including an impressive one to deny Joe Williams during a first half dominated by the visitors.
And, despite seeing Forest climb back into the play-off places, Lamouchi admitted: “If we play like this at home always, we will not win. Wigan played very well.
“Wigan deserved more, but I am happy for my players because they worked hard and they fought. We were a little bit lucky. But we fought hard for those three points.
“We need to find a different way for the next game. It is a busy time. But we need to keep going and keep working.
“Brice did a great job, he saved us in a lot of situations and saved us a lot of points. I am happy with him. He needs to stay focused until the end and the end is not until May. We need him and we need everyone to be focused, consistent and solid.
“This year, we have played really well away from home, winning a lot of games. At home it has been the opposite. We need to understand that and to understand why.
“Perhaps we can do something in the window that can help. The club are working hard to do that; to give us some help with new signings. But the players we have now are working hard and they are fantastic. It is a pleasure to work with them.”
Wigan boss Paul Cook took solace from the level of performance produced by his side but says that their failure to make the most of the chances they create remains their biggest Achilles’ heel.
“I don’t think we’ve conceded a goal in open play in five games now and we’ve been holding our own really against teams like Forest who are really strong,” said Cook.
“The biggest thing in football, as everyone knows, is scoring goals and we we’re not doing that anywhere near enough at the minute.
“I’ll never criticise players, that’s not the way I do things, but I’ll just keep repeatedly trying to get them into those areas, in the hope we get points that keep us in the division.
“There’s not a lot I can say to the players. I can only give a fair assessment of the game to the players in the dressing room afterwards and everyone can work from there.
“Unfortunately the fair assessments keep resulting in us not winning games which is disappointing. The games keep coming thick and fast but we’ve just got to keep on going.”
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