Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce hopes a fit-again David Dunn can breathe new life in his side's push away from the Barclays Premier League drop zone after helping clinch three crucial points against Wigan.
Dunn, whose season has been ravaged by hamstring and groin problems, was a half-time replacement for Benjani Mwaruwari and contributed to a vastly improved second-half performance. Morten Gamst Pedersen's free-kick and a superb finish from another substitute, Jason Roberts, earned victory although there were some frayed nerves after Charles N'Zogbia pulled one back late on.
Allardyce said: "It was important to get David back on the pitch. Even though he looked a little bit rusty and not his normal self, he's a little bit closer to match fitness which is important for us."
He added: "It was about getting David on because we weren't passing the ball as well as we normally do. We were constantly giving the ball away to the opposition. David's retention of the ball is one of the best."
Having started the day in the drop zone Rovers can now breathe a little easier in 15th and Allardyce knows the importance of the win with tough away trips to Newcastle and Tottenham approaching.
Having controlled champions Chelsea for long periods at Ewood Park the previous week and ended up with nothing, the win over Wigan was a reverse performance with the home side a little lucky to take the points.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez seethed over N'Zogbia's disallowed effort towards the end of a grim first period, the winger having been adjudged to have pushed Pedersen en route to goal.
"I don't know what was wrong with the goal," said Martinez. "That was a real low point for us and it was mentally very tough to recover from that. The referee has got a difficult job but he really cost us."