Bolton Wanderers manager Phil Parkinson described his side’s 1-0 win over Northampton on Saturday as their ‘hardest three points’ of the season.
Zach Clough’s well-taken first-half goal was the difference between the sides but only after Bolton survived a second-half barrage as Northampton threw everything at their visitors without success.
The win takes Bolton up to outright second in Sky Bet League One.
“It was a great win for us,” said Parkinson afterwards. “This was a dangerous place to come because they were doing really well earlier in the season and were up in the play-offs.
“That’s probably the hardest three points we’ve picked up and my team had to show both sides of their game today. We controlled the first-half and cut Northampton open with some of the football we played but we couldn’t get that second goal.
“We had a lot of possession around the box but couldn’t quite get it. If you can’t get that second goal you have to make sure you don’t concede and that’s we did in the second-half.
“Northampton went more direct with their two strikers and we didn’t have our biggest back four out today. We were under a lot of pressure but there was some good decision-making out there.
“It wasn’t that we decided to sit back in the second-half it was because Northampton were looking to hit [Alex] Revell and [Marc] Richards at every opportunity.
“You have to fight for everything all over the pitch to get points in this league and the players have done that.
“We now have a 16-day break to our next league game so it was important to go into it on the back of a victory.”