Aroune Kone scored a double for the Latics who dominated for long periods, although the Championship side were reinvigorated in the second half and caused a few anxious moments for the Premier League visitors.
New manager Robins had mixed emotions and said: "It was tough. You know with whatever side you put out that they're going to stretch you and pass the ball and find spare men.
"If we can't get into the right areas to stop them from playing and stop them from finding the spare men then you're going to come a cropper. In the first half we really struggled to cope with their movement.
"In the second half, we were better than the scoreline suggests, but we were still sloppy in some areas. We managed to get a goal and created a few more chances, but there wasn't enough of it.
"We need to be better with and without the ball. There were some good things, some decent passages of play, some decent movement and we got into the right places on a number of occasions."
Lee Novak scored a goal to make it 3-1 and as well as an impressive show from James Vaughan there were plenty of bright moments to please the new manager.
Robins added: "There's a lot of work to do because we want to excite our supporters. But we are all in it together. I saw some good things today, but there are things tactically that we need to look at going forward.
"Some players didn't perform as well as they can do and we have some players waiting on the sidelines, who are chomping at the bit. I am looking for quality from them, but I am also looking for consistency."