Neil Warnock admits he is "amazed" he has managed to sign Joey Barton from Newcastle having expected a bigger club to have come in with a late offer for the midfielder.
Barton watched from the directors' box at the JJB Stadium as his new club were undone 2-0 following a brace of goals from Wigan's Argentinian striker Franco Di Santo.
Warnock said: "I have to say I didn't think I'd get Joey if I'm honest. I expected one of the better clubs to have a gamble on him. I think he should be playing at the top."
Warnock admitted his side needed Barton's combative influence in midfield at Wigan and said he would ask his new star to instil his winning mentality into others.
Warnock added: "When you need Joey Barton is when you are 1-0 down. You need someone to grab somebody by the throat and say 'let's get going' - in a nice way.
"I'm hoping Joey can bring that to the club. I think he can get more out of players because he wants to win all the time. I'm looking forward to working with him."
Warnock also confirmed the signing of Luke Young from Aston Villa on a three-year deal, adding that he hoped Barton and Young would be among "five or six" new faces before the deadline.
Warnock added: "I'm pleased with the effort they put in. I thought they were fantastic and I told them I couldn't ask for more. If we'd scored first we'd have won the game."
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has urged young striker Di Santo to keep his feet on the ground after his double strike which continued the Latics' encouraging start.
Martinez said: "Franco came here at a very young age and has had a few experiences but he works hard and understand the game and this is his reward. I am very pleased with the manner in which we approached the game. It's our third game against a newly promoted side and that is always difficult."