Steve Bruce claimed Wigan Athletic were back to their best after pushing Manchester United all the way in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat at the JJB Stadium.
The Latics have seen their challenge for European football next season disappear on the back of a disappointing series of results, but came close to causing a major upset against the Red Devils.
Hugo Rodallega's first-half opener was only cancelled out after an hour, before a Michael Carrick winner four minutes from full-time was tough luck on a hard-working Wigan side.
"I'm hugely disappointed for the players because they deserved something from tonight," claimed Bruce.
"They've shown everybody what they Premier League is all about with their honesty and integrity.
"We had large periods of the game where we looked in control but you have to last for the entirety and in the end Michael Carrick's wonder-goal settled it.
"Changing the mentality has been difficult over the last few weeks but it was back tonight.
"It's performances like that that have got us to where we were in the league.
"Overall I couldn't wish for anymore, we did everything we possibly could to get the result."
Meanwhile, Bruce believes Rodallega is showing signs of developing into a top player following a slow start to life in the Premier League for the Colombian striker.
"Hugo has come of age a bit lately. As I've said before I didn't want to throw him in just yet, but I've had no chance," he added of his January signing.
"He was sitting puzzled when he first came, watching the way we play our game, but he's proving now to be a real asset and was a top player tonight."