Steve Bruce was watching from the stands as Wigan lost to Arsenal yesterday.

There were certainly plenty of positives available to the former Manchester United defender as he looks to plot a successful escape from the relegation zone.

Caretaker-boss Frank Barlow, who could be replaced on the coaching staff by Birmingham's Eric Black, said: "It has been a difficult week for everybody, the players included. There has been a hesitancy about Steve's arrival.

"The performance today gives our supporters belief that we have passion for the shirt and we want to play.

"Steve can get a certain amount of encouragement from that. He has to build on that."

Barlow added: "You want to bring your own man and if Eric comes in then he comes. That is Steve's decision and won't lose my friendship from him."