Gianfranco Zola once again praised Matej Vydra after the Watford striker scored the 11th goal in his last six league starts to help the Hornets get their promotion push back on track following the surprise midweek defeat at Bristol City.
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The Czech international, who attracted plenty of interest in the transfer window, scored his 19th goal of the season four minutes after Bolton had taken the lead through a penalty from Watford old boy Marvin Sordell.
Vydra then turned supplier after the break, setting up Almen Abdi for what turned out to be the winner, moving his side back within a point of second place in the npower Championship.
Zola: "He shows also why so many teams were interested in him as well. It's another performance of quality, quantity and character.
"He's been absolutely outstanding today. I would say (Cristian) Battocchio as well was outstanding and a few other players.
"It was a game in which we needed to work hard because they were good and considering also it was the third game in a week, which has always been very difficult for us. I was really pleased and proud of the performance."
The Hornets' head coach said "it was essential" his side responded so quickly to going behind and added: "The penalty was a little bit 50-50 but that penalty served a purpose because after that we came back strongly, we played much better and so we reacted really well to that."
He later said: "I think today the passing wasn't as good as normal. We couldn't find rhythm, it was always breaking up all the time so we couldn't get the control of the game we normally have.
"A lot of it was down to them because they were organised, aggressive and when they got the ball back they didn't lose it easily.
"That was one thing but when there are games like this you need to step up the other part of the game which is the work rate, the determination and the courage - something that I think we had, otherwise we wouldn't have won the game."
Dougie Freedman felt his side more than matched Watford but believes they are lacking self belief.
The Bolton boss said: "I felt our game plan was working very well throughout the match. I felt we contained a very good Watford side to very limited opportunities.
"I felt we controlled the game through our passing and our movement, our regains were very good.
"I didn't feel we put enough pressure on their goal throughout the game and it's disappointing that we conceded a goal right after we got the goal.
"That was probably the most disappointing thing, it changed the crowd and it changed the game a little bit in the second half.
"In the second half it was poised and very, very even but right now we are going through a very difficult moment and we've got to believe in ourselves - that's what missing."
This was the latest occasion when Bolton have dropped points after gaining the upper hand and Freedman added: "We're going through a moment right now in the season where we just can't keep these leads.
"We're playing very well, we've got to believe in ourselves a little bit more. The difficult thing for me was we conceded so soon after we'd scored but I felt there's enough there - there's good positives out of the game today."