Carl Winchester’s 17th minute goal was enough to secure the three-points for Sunderland.
Post-match, Lee Johnson hailed the result as a ‘big three points’ and credited Bolton for giving his side a tough game:
"It's definitely fair to say it was a really tough game and we knew that before," Johnson said.
"I suppose with my Sunderland rose-tinted glasses on I would say that we should have killed them off earlier in the game, we had three or four really good opportunities.
"A couple of them came from some very good, flowing football.
"They had some good chances as well, for sure, and I'm sure XG would tell you it could have been 4-3 or something like that.
"I think the fans willed us on in the latter stages.
"We were making some emotive decisions I thought, which led us to giving the ball away more often than I'd have liked but at the same time, I can't knock the too much because I've asked them to play.
"You can't have both, the intention to keep the ball but tell someone to shell it when it sits on the edge of the box.
"That's a big three points for us, because they will take a lot of points and be up there at the end of the season. By Christmas you will see them rooted in the top six, I'm fairly sure of that."