Howe saw his side score a goal either side of half-time to get their season off to a winning start in the East Lancashire derby, and believes that they thoroughly deserved the three points.
"The lads were outstanding from start to finish. I thought there were some gigantic performances from individuals - some great debuts - and I thought we looked like a good side. It's only one game so we can't get carried away, but it's certainly a good performance and hopefully it will give the lads a lot of confidence," said Howe.
"Defence was an area we felt we needed to improve from last year. I thought we showed real maturity today with our performance. I think everyone looks back to last year and could see at times we would wobble but I didn't think we did that today.
"Bolton had a bit of late pressure but you would expect that. But our decision-making to see the game out was very good - much improved - and showed a bit of maturity. In terms of today I couldn't be more pleased with the players in terms of their attitude and how they approached the game and dealt with the pressure."
Burnley's next Championship fixture comes away to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.