Tony Mowbray praised his Blackburn players for a gutsy performance as they secured a 1-0 Sky Bet Championship derby win against Bolton at the University of Bolton Stadium.
Bradley Dack’s eighth goal of the season after 22 minutes separated the sides and moved Rovers up to ninth place.
David Raya made two fine saves to protect the lead and Charlie Mulgrew cleared Josh Magennis’ header off the line.
Bolton also had a late penalty award overturned for offside, although both managers admitted it was the right call.
“It wasn’t a very good performance,” said Rovers boss Mowbray. “But Bolton make life really difficult.
“If you look back at their last home game against Derby they won with 20-odd percent possession and we know how good Derby are.
“They are a team who make it difficult but let’s take the points.
“Do you call it winning ugly? I am not sure, but the spirit was there and that’s what got us through.
“I talk a lot about the spirit and it was there on show, digging in, winning headers, getting the second ball.
“We weren’t fluent at all. For the first 20 minutes it worked OK but the solidity Corry Evans and Richie Smallwood brought later on was important and helped us get the points
“It’s in the history books now we won 1-0. But we have to be better and we have been better.
“I’m just delighted to get the win and a clean sheet. Results like this feed the beast if you want to give it a name; their togetherness, spirit and camaraderie at times is unbreakable.
“The boys said it was never a penalty in a million years and it was obviously offside.
“It was almost comical to say it was a penalty but again it doesn’t matter now. Let’s move on.”
Bolton boss Phil Parkinson said: “We had enough play to get something out of the game.
“What cost us was our final ball from wide areas to slide a striker through.
“There were a lot of very good performances, but we didn’t produce in the areas that really mattered to get a point or even win the game.
“It is hugely frustrating because it is a game we dominated. Even in the first half we had the better chances and their keeper made a couple of great saves.
“In the second half it was really all us but they sat in deep and let us have the ball.
“We moved the ball pretty well and some of the slickness of football was excellent.
“The endeavour, honesty and bravery to keep playing was excellent. And the goal fell to the one player you don’t want it to fall to.”
On the penalty that wasn’t, Parkinson added: “It was the right decision. I have seen it back, it was offside.”