Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young maintained the Aston Villa resurgence with the second-half goals that saw off battling Wigan 2-1 at DW Stadium.
James McCarthy marked his return from injury by pulling one back as Villa finished in nervy fashion but the visitors hung on to leave Wigan in trouble in the bottom three.
Ali Al Habsi produced two fine point-blank saves in quick succession to deny Stewart Downing and Darren Bent after a pass from Agbonlahor had opened up the defence. After an initial burst the game settled as both defences tightened up. Villa upped the tempo for the start of the second half as Young raced into the area and forced Al Habsi to palm over a fierce drive.
The visitors grabbed the lead from the resulting corner. Again Al Habsi did well to keep out Carlos Cuellar's firm header but the ball ballooned into the air and Agbonlahor reacted quickest to nod it over the line.
Young doubled Villa's lead from the penalty spot after being brought down by Hendry Thomas. The Villa captain made no mistake as he sent Al Habsi the wrong way.
Wigan did not give up the fight and pulled a goal back 10 minutes from time. There seemed little danger as James McCarthy lined up a shot from 30 yards but the ball took a huge deflection off James Collins and wrong-footed Brad Friedel to end up in the bottom corner.