Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy said his side must find a level of consistency or risk their potential being undermined following a 3-3 draw against Wigan.
It took a goal from Stephen Humphrys six minutes into added time to rescue a point against a very inexperienced Wigan team in the Sky Bet League One contest at Spotland.
Barry-Murphy, whose side trailed 2-1 at the break and were down to 10 men after the dismissal of Jim McNulty, was less than impressed with his team’s opening 45 minutes.
It was the second week running Dale had played out a 3-3 home draw, while the trip to Charlton in midweek ended 4-4.
Barry-Murphy said: “Spotland is the place to be it seems for entertainment – just not the right entertainment from my point of view.
“I don’t have any major issues with the goals we conceded, I just thought our performance in the first half, even though we scored a goal, we didn’t play with the personality or the intensity that we showed at Charlton in the week or against Crewe last weekend.
“It was a very disappointing performance from our point of view in that first half. But the lads showed in the second half what it looks like to be us.
“The challenge for us as we develop and get more experience is to show that all the time and not sporadically because if we don’t find that consistency there will be moments in the season that will undermine the potential within the squad.”
Humphrys’ seventh minute opener was cancelled out two minutes later by Kyle Joseph’s near-post finish and Wigan deservedly took the lead in the 16th minute via a sharp turn and finish from Callum Lang.
McNulty saw red just before the break for a reckless swipe at Joseph after the pair became entangled on the halfway line, but the 10 men levelled in the 62nd minute when Jake Beesley beat Latics’ debutant goalkeeper Owen Evans to a long punt upfield and headed into the unguarded net.
Will Keane’s 77th-minute finish looked to have won it for the visitors until Humphrys met Ryan McLaughlin’s cross to secure a point.
Wigan boss Leam Richardson said: “It’s funny, football, because Rochdale will feel they have achieved something and we will feel we haven’t where the scoreline is the same for both sides.
“But to concede in the way that we did having played the way that we played made me very disappointed for the lads that they didn’t get the result they probably deserved.
“We had enough chances to kill the game off but we haven’t. It’s a learning curve and you leave yourself open when you lead by a solitary goal – the opposition become fearless and push men forward.
“I’m very pleased with individual performances and I thought collectively the lads stuck to the task considering there were quite a few league debuts out there.”