Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa felt his side’s 2-1 victory at Wigan should have been even more emphatic.
The Whites returned to the top of the Sky Bet Championship in relatively comfortable fashion, ruining Athletic’s farewell to outgoing chairman David Sharpe and owner Dave Whelan.
On-loan Chelsea right-back Reece James gave Wigan the lead with a superbly-struck sixth-minute free-kick.
But Pablo Hernandez equalised within three minutes and Kemar Roofe took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score what proved to be the winner just 39 seconds into the second period.
“If we look at the chances we created, chances they created, possession… we should have scored more goals,” acknowledged Bielsa.
“But it was very important to win, especially having only drawn at home in our last game. One of our goals is to prevent the opposition having the ball.
“If we can prevent the opposition making passes, if we can recover possession quickly, we feel safer.
“We also have to take into account Wigan weren’t able to call on their four first-choice attacking players.”
The win saw United move back to the top of the second tier, but again Bielsa was not getting carried away.
“There are a number of teams near the top of the league who are at the same level,” he added.
“In order to be top of the pile, we have to make a difference against teams at the top. We did that at the beginning of the season, but we stopped doing that.
“If we want to reach the goals we have set, we have to show more regularity in gaining points.”
For Wigan boss Paul Cook, it was a long day at the office given his side were missing first-choice attacking quartet Nick Powell, Gavin Massey, Michael Jacobs and Will Grigg.
“Leeds are an excellent side, let’s make no bones about that,” he said.
“We worked very hard in our pursuit of getting a result. But to lose such a key goal so soon in the second half has had a massive influence on the game.
“And you’d probably say it was a deserved victory over the 90 minutes. Leeds had that little bit of quality which they showed at regular points in the game.
“We maybe didn’t have that little bit of quality, or confidence when we most needed it.”
Cook was left to wonder what may have happened had Wigan managed to hang on to their lead for longer than three minutes.
“We got off to a great start, and I don’t know how long it was before Leeds were level, but you have to hang on to those moments,” he added.
“We wanted to pursue Leeds and get after them in terms of how they play the game. They’re a very free-flowing, attacking team, and fair play to them.
“They play the way I think everyone would want to play the game. And I think they will go very close this year.”