Wigan manager Owen Coyle was pleased with his side’s effort after they drew 0-0 with Zulte-Waregem in the UEFA Europa League.
Wigan’s bow in European competition saw them claim a point in Belgium on Thursday, as Coyle’s men put in a gritty performance in Brugge.
James McCarthy clipped the post with an early strike for the Championship outfit, while James McClean headed against his own bar at the other end during the first half.
Zulte-Waregem piled on late pressure but the FA Cup winners did enough to hang on, which Coyle was happy with.
He said: “From start to finish it was an outstanding debut in European football for everyone associated with the club.
“The players performed out of their skins and defended well when they had to. And to have 2,500 fans travel over here in the torrential rain … they sang their hearts out and gave the players a lot to fight for.
“Equally, the players are sending them home with a smile on their face tonight because it is certainly a well-earned point. I am delighted overall.”
Coyle reserved special praise for his defence, who had to be at their best in the latter stages to keep their opponents at bay.
Goalkeeper Scott Carson made a smart save to deny Ibrahima Conte and Chris McCann’s late block kept Karel D’Haene’s late strike out.
“We knew that at different periods we were going to have to stand up and defend well,” Coyle added.
“I said before the game that Zulte-Waregem have some very good attacking players, and nothing has altered my opinion.
“We knew that and obviously they were the home team and trying to push on late in the game.
“Having said that, as much as we had to defend well, if we had taken care a little bit more on the counter-attack we could have scored a couple of goals ourselves.”
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