Frank Barlow believes Steve Bruce has the credentials to turn things around for Wigan, who remain second from bottom with only eight points from 14 matches.
"We talk about leaders a lot in the game at the moment and we think they are far harder to find now than 25 years ago. He has that quality in abundance."
Barlow already has a close relationship with Bruce from when the former defender joined Birmingham, then under the tenure of Trevor Francis.
The 61-year-old is more than happy to be moving back behind the scenes.
He said: "I am very, very glad. I decided a long time ago it was something I didn't want to do.
"I like the training ground and that environment, but I'm not keen on the top job.
"You either say that's for me or that's not for me. Almost straight away you know.
"It's so introspective, you don't know what else is going on in the world."