Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has criticised a section of fans for failing to get fully behind Jordi Gomez before his match-winning hat-trick on Saturday.
The Spaniard completed a stunning treble in stoppage time as Latics claimed a dramatic 3-2 Barclays Premier League win over Reading at the DW Stadium.
But Gomez, who had been making his first league start in two months, was jeered by a number of his own supporters following some poor touches early in the match.
The frustration stemmed from the 27-year-old's previous indifferent form but Martinez feels they chose the wrong time to express it.
Martinez, who signed the player from former club Swansea in 2009, said: "Jordi divides opinions because he represents a style of football.
"It is not just the way he is as a footballer, it is the style he represents.
"I was disappointed on Saturday, a little sector of the crowd couldn't wait until the final whistle to look back on his performance and then assess it.
"I was so proud of the manner Jordi reacted to whatever was going on. He showed an incredible mental strength.
"He was a great example to any youngster at the ground wanting to arrive into the first team.
"Jordi's performance and his handling of the occasion was a real example of how to be a professional footballer.
"The dressing room was very proud. You don't want players who don't have the warmth from the crowd.
"All he did is do everything he could to win the points for Wigan Athletic and I think a sector of the crowd should realise that."
Gomez's hat-trick was only the third by a Wigan player in the top flight after Marcus Bent and Henri Camara. Fernando Torres is the only other Spaniard to have hit a treble in the Premier League.
The result should put Wigan in good heart for Wednesday's visit of Manchester City but they continue to be hampered by injuries.
Defender Ivan Ramis and forward Shaun Maloney were both forced off at the weekend with hamstring and groin injuries respectively.
That saw them join Gary Caldwell (hamstring) and long-term casualties Antolin Alcaraz, Albert Crusat, Ben Watson and Ryo Miyaichi in the treatment room. Martinez said: "You don't want to have injuries and that is the weakest we have been but I was pleased with the reaction we had - focus and determination and that mature side on the pitch, not accepting any negative against us.
"We had some injuries and picked up another two along the way.
"Ivan Ramis - we are going to assess him over the next two days and it will be difficult for him to make the squad for Wednesday.
"Shaun Maloney was a lot easier yesterday and I feel he probably has a chance to be available for Wednesday.
"We will also assess Gary Caldwell.
"This is November. It is always a risky month in terms of injuries because of the change of weather and the fatigue of certain players after working for the first third of the competition.
"We have been unfortunate with many accidents resulting in injuries."