Bolton manager Owen Coyle lauded rookie Stuart Holden after his side moved out of the relegation zone.
Zat Knight’s first goal of the season – and the club’s first in six league games – was enough to seal victory against Wolves and take them above their rivals in the Barclays Premier League table.
However, it was Aberdeen-born Holden, who arrived last month after leaving Houston Dynamoes, who took the plaudits in his first start at this level.
The United States midfielder retained his place in the team after his bright display in the FA Cup replay defeat by Tottenham in midweek.
Coyle said: “I thought Stuart was great again. He has a lot about him, a real hunger and a desire.
“He was at Sunderland as a young player and got released, went to America and took his game on. He could have stayed and played safe.
“But he wanted to come back to England and prove himself. We will give him the platform.
“I am delighted how he has gone about it. He was a bundle of energy and his set-play delivery was terrific. It is an added bonus for us.”
Knight made the breakthrough in first half stoppage time with a neat finish after Chung-Young Lee chased a lost cause to set up the opening.
Bolton then had claims for a penalty waved away when Ronald Zubar appeared to handle a cross from Kevin Davies.
Wolves responded but were left despondent as David Jones and Kevin Foley both saw efforts come back off the woodwork.
Coyle was delighted with the manner of the victory.
He said: “We all knew how big a game this was. So it was terrific to get the three points. Our performance was of a high standard as well.
“There were moments in the second half when we rode our luck. But we should have put the game to bed by that time.
“We had a stonewall penalty at the start of the second half. I felt it was ball to hand.
“But the biggest single thing today was getting that win. It elevates us out of the bottom three and it gives your confidence a great boost.
“Maybe Zat would have been the last one you would have selected to score the goal. But it was a nice finish by him after great work from Lee.”
Wolves manager Mick McCarthy felt his side should have had a penalty as well when Matt Jarvis went to ground following a challenge from Sam Ricketts.
McCarthy thought they deserved to take something from the game.
He said: “Playing well doesn’t always get you points, does it. We switched off just before half-time.
“We have made mistakes and it has cost us the game. The goal we conceded wasn’t bad luck it was bad defending.
“It still remains the same. We need a certain amount of points with 11 games left to stay in this league. Can we get those points? That remains to be seen.
“We will keep trying, keep plugging away. We are in there fighting and that gives us a chance.”