It was no more than Wigan deserved, after perfectly executing new boss Warren Joyce’s plan to frustrate Town, who had equalised through Aaron Mooy.
And while Wagner conceded some naive defending was complicit in their defeat, he was equally frustrated with the performance of referee Tony Harrington.
Wagner sought the Hartlepool officials’ ear after the final whistle for clarification on two incidents in the second half when both Nahki Wells and Elias Kachunga went down in the area.
“I only spoke with him (to say) that I think he had the best views on the Nahki situation,” Wagner said. “That I’m not able to see this. (But) I was sure from my point of view that Kachunga’s one was a clear, 100 per cent penalty.
“After I’ve seen the clips – it is. (It is) disappointing and a little bit frustrating as well because I think the lads invested everything.
“They tried everything, they played with energy and enthusiasm.
“We had penalty situations which in my opinion we at least have to get one – no, we have to get two.
“Our only problem was that we were not good enough to avoid their counter-attacks and we got this defeat which hurts.”
Town harried and pressed Wigan for the majority – keeping the visitors camped in their own half for long periods – but the contest was ultimately decided by the visitors’ ability to find counter-attacking opportunities.
Wildschut’s searing pace was pivotal and he set up the 40th-minute opener, after brushing aside some weak Jon Stankovic defending, before racing away for the winner on the hour.
“We have to make sure we take positives, which was how we worked today with the ball, but we should not forget to blame ourselves for how we defended their counter-attacks,” said Wagner, who saw his side remain in sixth place in the Championship table.
“They had two goals and there were two other great counter situations. We have to defend that better.
“In the goals we conceded we were not strong enough and too slow in our head and in our legs.
“We have to handle that better.”
Joyce gives his thoughts
“I’m pleased to get a big three points against a really good side.”
Joyce was fully rewarded for playing Wildschut down the middle, rather than out wide, and the Dutch forward could have scored even more after repeatedly sneaking behind Town’s high defensive line.
“He’s not great running back as a wide player, but you look at what he’s good at and he’s hard to stop,” he said. “You look at the GPS stuff – his top end pace is quicker than Nani and Ronaldo.
“That’s a fact. It’s a hell of an attribute to have.”