Ian Evatt admitted the points were all that mattered as Wanderers capped a memorable week for the club with victory over Port Vale.
Three days on from securing a place in the final of the Papa Johns Trophy, the Whites looked to be running on empty as they continued their fight to secure a top-six place.
But in his 150th game as Wanderers’ manager, Ian Evatt saw his side show great character to come from behind to win 2-1 with goals from Victor Adeboyejo – his first for the club – and Josh Sheehan.
“Today wasn’t about performances. It wasn’t about anything other than the three points,” said Evatt.
“The three points are what mattered most. We managed to do it and found a way.
“It was always going to be really challenging after an emotional moment on Wednesday.
“It was a huge landmark moment for us to get to Wembley and everyone really enjoyed it.
“To pick the players back up and manage to find a win against a team that really asked us questions is great credit to the players.”
As well as backing up their semi-final win at Accrington Stanley, Wanderers also bounced back from a first loss in six league games at Wycombe a week ago.
Sheehan’s winner – the midfielder’s first goal of the season – made it six successive home victories and lifted the Whites to within six points of second-placed Plymouth Argyle, having played one game more.
“Port Vale were full of energy, really asked us questions and put it on us and we didn’t look our usual fluid selves,” added Evatt, who clocked up his 74th win as Bolton boss.
“We somehow managed to stay in it and Traff made one or two really good saves.
“We just looked mentally and physically tired. But credit to the players, they found a way to win and it’s the sign of a good team that can do that.
“We know we need to play a lot better than that and we can play a lot better than that.
“Now we need to refresh, re-group and get ready for Portsmouth on Tuesday.”