Manager Brian Barry-Murphy played down his role in Rochdale’s 3-1 comeback victory at League One basement boys Bolton.
Barry-Murphy, who replaced Wanderers boss Keith Hill at Spotland last year, brought on veteran striker Aaron Wilbraham with his side trailing to Thibaud Verlinden’s 56th-minute goal.
Wilbraham, 40 on Monday, did not score after his 60th-minute introduction but his presence unsettled Bolton’s rookie defensive partnership of 17-year-old Adam Senior and Yoan Zouma, 21.
“I am worried already because he will remind me of the same,” joked Barry-Murphy as goals from Callum Camps, Oliver Rathbone and substitute Fabio Tavares earned the visitors victory.
“It was a difficult decision not to start with Aaron. His impact coming off the bench was amazing.
“I am not taking away credit from him because he will go mad. But I thought it was a team effort.
“The players have been amazing in their application and dedication. It’s been a tough three or four weeks for us, so to get a result like that against a team who is improving rapidly under Keith is testament to the players and their courage.
“Watching for our personality in the way we played when we went behind was amazing to see. I am proud of all the players, young and old.
“The culture they are creating at the club is one of constant improvement. And in moments in the last few weeks when results haven’t been what we wanted, I was insistent the process remained the same.”
Bolton assistant boss Dave Flitcroft said: “For 70 minutes it was a fair, equal match. We did everything and more to compete with Rochdale’s attacking influence.
“But we didn’t have the aggression in the last third and enough people in the box really believing they were going to score.
“After we scored, we are thinking, ‘Take the game away from Rochdale’. Daryl Murphy had a chance and if that had gone in it would have given us some belief but it didn’t.
“It rocked us and we didn’t cope with the first goal and Wilbraham coming on changed the outcome of the game.
“Scoring the first goal was a massive positive. But it almost gave Rochdale the impetus and not us. We didn’t have that energy in the last 20 minutes.”
Wanderers have yet to win since Keith Hill and Flitcroft were appointed to replace Phil Parkinson and his backroom staff.
“It is important this group of players keep learning and keep understanding what their roles are,” added Flitcroft.
“But scoring goals is about desire and hurting yourself. We will show the players what they have got to do and then that first win will come.
“But if we don’t stick to a process we won’t get that first win.”