Ian Evatt welcomed a big three points as weary Wanderers did just enough to keep the winning habit.
Two fantastic first-half strikes from Antoni Sarcevic and top scorer Dapo Afolayan set up a 2-1 victory over Shrewsbury Town.
But Evatt admitted his side hadn’t been at their best as their efforts over the past eight days almost took their toll.
Wanderers had travelled the length and breadth of the country in games at Sunderland and Charlton Athletic.
But they had just enough left in the tank following their 4-1 triumph at The Valley to secure a second home win of the season and stay seventh in the League One table.
“We managed to get it over the line,” said Evatt.
“We’re delighted with the win because we think they are a difficult team to play against. We’re happy to get the three points.
“We looked jaded and tired after two long away journeys and two difficult games we put a lot into.
“It has a knock-on effect when you get back at five in the morning and then you’re up with the kids.
“You don’t really get to recover and we didn’t look like we recovered today.
“Credit to them. They’re the type of team that are never really out of the game.
“But I thought our two centre-backs were absolutely brilliant. Our goalkeeper makes a very good penalty save and two brilliants goals to win us the game.
“We saw the game out and I don’t think they would have scored but for a free-kick at the end which was a bit controversial.”
The Shrews struck a minute from time after Ricardo Santos – who was a colossus alongside recalled central defensive partner George Johnston – was fooled by an off-side flag into picking up the ball.
But there was no major damage done after Joel Dixon had saved an earlier spot-kick from Ryan Bowman.
And Evatt praised his side’s desire to see the job through as they made it back-to-back wins for the first time since August to stay just a point outside the play-off places.
“I want to be attractive, expansive, attacking. At the end of the day three points is what really matters,” added the Bolton boss.
“We found a way to win. We weren’t at our best. We looked tired but we found a way and good teams do that.
“I know we can better and I want better. Work ethic and determination to see a game out - that was there for all to see.”
Evatt confirmed that right-back Gethan Jones was replaced at half-time due to a dead leg with Wanderers now facing a mid-week Papa John’s Trophy tie at home to Liverpool’s Under-21s before resuming their early top-six push at Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday.