fans turned on their own team after Charles N'Zogbia's solo run clinched Wigan's first win in nine matches.
boss Steve Bruce, Newcastle born and bred, accused those samesupporters of taking victory for granted.
Bruce rubbed salt into Sunderland's wounds when he claimed: 'The vastmajority of the crowd thought, 'We've just got to turn up to beat Wigan'.'It appeared that the home team saw things the same way. And Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia made no excuses.
King Charles: N'Zogbia (centre) scores the Wigan winner
Sunderland v Wigan: How the game unfolded
SUNDERLAND NEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
WIGAN NEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
we've played as a team since I've been in charge,' he admitted. 'The fans are entitled to boo, they pay good money, I don't have problems with that.' But Sbragia did have aproblem with the way his side allowed Newcastle old boy N'Zogbia to run from inside his own half and roll a simple finish past Marton Fulop just before the interval for the winner.
'It was a soft goal and we should have dealt with it earlier,' he said, dismissingthe fans' complaint that Kenwyne Jones had been floored at the other end.
Sbragia's opposite number could see only the beauty of N'Zogbia's pace and composure as he registered a first goal for his new club.
'To go the length of the pitch in the Premier League was terrific,' said Bruce, his exaggeration of the distance forgivable under the circumstances.
After all, Wigan had not won since January 11 and can now dream of Europeagain. 'If we get some more wins we've an outside chance, why not?' suggested Bruce.
Sunderland supporters jeered their team all the way to the tunnel at thefinal whistle. A few more performances like this and Sunderland could be backin trouble. The fans know it and Sbragia does, too. 'We need a couple of winsand quick,' he admitted.
Yet he was at a loss to explain why his players were so flat. Even captain Dean Whitehead lost concentration in the 12th minute, allowing Paul Scharner to prod a pass to Ben Watson.
On the stretch: Grant Leadbitter (left) holds off Wigan's Michael Brown
The former Crystal Palace midfielder was given too much time and space and his finish was accomplished.
Four minutes before the break, Sunderland won their challenges for a change, which allowed Grant Leadbitter to force his way past Maynor Figueroa. The local boymade no mistake and the Wearsiders looked forward to going into the break on level terms.
It did not turn out that way. And most of the second-half entertainment lay in watching the Sunderland backroom staff try in vain to prevent the wind blowing wastepaper on to the pitch. It was too late.
Lots of rubbish was already on to the turf. It was mostly wearing red and white stripes.
SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Fulop; Bardsley, Ben-Haim (Healy 77min), Collins, McCartney; Malbranque (Edwards 63), Leadbitter, Whitehead, Reid (Murphy 60); Jones, Cisse. Subs (not used): Gordon, Yorke, Davenport, McShane.
WIGAN (4-5-1): Kirkland; Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa; Valencia, Watson, Scharner, Brown, N'Zogbia; Mido (Zaki 84). Subs (not used): Edman, Koumas, Pollitt,De Ridder, Rodallega, Kapo. Booked: Brown.Referee: M Dean (Wirral).
Ben ten: Watson gets a double high-five from Antonio Valencia after netting Wigan's opener