Statistics can often be misleading but there is no denying that scoring goals away was rapidly becoming an alien concept for Birmingham City.

Prior to David Dunn's priceless equaliser at the JJB Stadium on Saturday, 721 minutes had elapsed since a Birmingham player had scored a Premiership goal away from St Andrew's.

In fact, you have to go back to December 17, 2005 when Jiri Jarosik snared a late consolation at Manchester City.

With Emile Heskey's return being one Premiership goal in his last 17 top-flight appearances and Chris Sutton's one in 44, the portents for a revival were not promising when Andreas Johnasson finally breached Birmingham's defence four minutes after half time.

The weight of history was stacked against them, too, as they had never won at Wigan and had only a Paul Tait goal from the early 1990s to show for their endeavours.

But this is a team reinvigorated and refreshed from four points in two games and their brio was rewarded when impressive substitute Dunn expertly capped off a sublime cross from Heskey.

The St Andrew's bandwagon has revved up its engine and could well ensure that a team that has looked battered and bruised all season maintains their Premiership lifestyle.

At the heart of their renaissance has been an obdurate defensive shield that has rediscovered the frugality of old.

On numerous occasions during this campaign they have sprung leaks and Steve Bruce, the manager, has run out of digits to try to plug the holes that were gushing goals.

Whenever a problem appeared to have been solved, a torrid performance was looming just round the corner to leave Bruce mightily perplexed.

But the inclusion of two defensively-minded full-backs and a burning desire by Kenny Cunningham and Martin Taylor to prove their critics wrong has formulated their very own mean machine.

Confidence has visibly mushroomed, although the lamentable goal record will ensure more gnawing of nails before May 7.

However, a harvest of five points from fixtures against Chelsea, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan is a rich return at this stage of the campaign.

Blues are gaining crucial momentum.

Frayed nerves, a bobbly pitch and a fierce wind were the ingredients to ensure this fixture was never going to be a classic. Wigan had failed to win at home in the Premier-ship since Boxing Day and played like a team with the weight of the world on their shoulders.

Even the fillip of Johansson's firm headed goal failed to lift their confidence and Blues always had genuine hope that a point could be salvaged.

A shaky defensive perform-ance by one-time Bruce target Paul Scharner and Arjan De Zeeuw always gave Birmingham hope, which Heskey and Dunn finally exploited.

It is to Heskey's eternal credit that he created Dunn's goal with a turn of pace that embarrassed Scharner before an exquisite low cross for the impressive Dunn.

Heskey is shorn of confidence in front of goal and has lost that critical element of self-belief that all strikers require. Yet he persevered throughout and summoned up the necessary vigour to engineer an opportunity that Dunn gleefully accepted.

Dunn, like Mikael Forssell, was an option that changed Birmingham's outlook from the bench and was a luxury not afforded to Bruce during his injury crisis.

In fact, Forssell looks a better option than Sutton who, after a bright start, was treading water. He drew an impressive save from John Filan inside the first quarter of an hour but proceeded to get involved in a muscular battle with Wigan's centrehalves and was ineffective.

It is unfair to judge Sutton as he has been bedevilled by injuries but his movement is poor at present and he is becoming increasingly frustrated at his lack of impact.

The introduction of Fors-sell and Dunn provided Birmingham with fresh impetus for the remaining 25 minutes.

The improvement in Birmingham within a week has been marked and one can make a case for positive results in their remaining five fixtures.

Where previously there was gloom and a resigned air, the optimism is infectious and Olivier Tebily was applauded back on to the team coach as he posed for photographs with upbeat supporters.

Ultimately, Birmingham's survival will probably depend on their final two home fixtures.

Newcastle on the last weekend in April can be safely negotiated as they will be dreaming of sunnier climes and sangria.

However, the visit of Blackburn next Wednesday is a different kettle of fish. Robbie Savage is sure to rouse passions among supporters and the cold war between Bruce and Mark Bowen will only add fuel to an already raging fire.

However, they can approach next week's derby against Villa with a certain degree of confidence as the latter appear to be in turmoil and bedevilled by injuries.

The reintroduction of Dunn and Forssell couldn't have been more timely because, as Villa fans know to their cost, both have a penchant for scoring at Villa Park.