Aitor Karanka heaped praise on Lewis Grabban after his second-half brace inspired Nottingham Forest to a first win at Bolton since 1991 in front of their Greek owner Evangelos Marinakis.
Grabban struck twice in 19 second-half minutes having already missed his third penalty of the campaign as Forest won 3-0, after Joe Lolley had opened the scoring in the 12th minute.
Karanka, the first Forest boss to defeat Wanderers on home territory since Brian Clough, was delighted for Marinakis – watching his team for the first time this season – and striker Grabban.
“He was brave enough to take the ball,” said Karanka of his eight-goal marksman who for the second time this campaign scored and missed a spot-kick in the same game.
“Even at 0-0 or 1-1 he would have taken the ball. He is a strong character and he trusts himself and for us it is important to have a player like him.
“I have thought about it (changing the penalty taker) but he scored so I have to keep trusting him.
“The main thing is he is scoring goals. It is important to have one player like him happy and scoring goals. His desire and spirit rubs off on the team.”
On the presence of Marinakis and the owner’s training ground pep talk, Karanka added: “I had met him a few times but it was important for the players especially when you are hearing the owner is supportive.
“It is nice to see him on the training ground and to hear his words and to know we are all together.
“We have a good opportunity with this group to do something good this season. From the first minute we played really well,” added Karanka as Forest bounced back from the disappointment of last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat against Norwich.
“We allowed Bolton to have the ball in the second part of the first half but the second half was much better.”
Wanderers boss Phil Parkinson claimed both penalty decisions by referee Andy Davies were dubious.
“I think contentious is the right word,” said Parkinson whose side entertain fellow strugglers Hull on Saturday.
“Grabban gets a lot of penalties; the second one was certainly never a pen as I could see Ben Alnwick had pulled his arms away.
“Refs and officials have got to know the players they are dealing with and they had a lot of penalties this season. They bought both of the penalties.”
Parkinson, however, admitted his team’s performance was poor.
“They scored their first goal on the break from our throw,” he added.
“And the ball was like a hot potato in the first 15 minutes. After that we did play but in the second half we were chasing the game and unfortunately against a team of that quality you are vulnerable to the counter attack.
“They showed the immense quality they have got. But they have spent £30 million and you could see that.”