The Latics have stumbled to safety with only two wins in 13 games and were pegged back in a low-quality match of few chances. After Robbie Simpson put the home side in front after 69 minutes, Chris Holroyd levelled for a North End team who have also struggled for form.
"We are happy that the point has made us safe, but we shouldn't have been looking over our shoulders in the first place," said manager Paul Dickov. "It hasn't been good enough, especially since Christmas, and we need to change things round in the summer.
"I honestly think we should be in the top half but, although you can't fault the application, we have lacked quality in both boxes. I haven't been happy with things for about 15 or 20 games and I'm not kidding myself - we need to improve.
"Some of the players have a lot to learn and they won't be here next season if they don't want to do that. I want people to take responsibility instead of being content to get rid of the ball. It was like a hot potato. We looked nervy, although maybe that was my fault because I'd been looking for a reaction all week by reminding the lads we weren't safe.
"The effort was there, but it was a scrappy, horrible game and some of them looked like they weren't enjoying it."