KEITH Hill celebrated his first win in charge of Bolton Wanderers by thanking his players for their efforts since he walked through the door.

For the first time since March Bolton fans were able to celebrate three points in the league as goals from Luke and Daryl Murphy sunk Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

Wanderers had not waited 12 games for a first victory of the season since 1902 but quashed that particular statistic with a commanding performance, with a scoreline that could have been even more emphatic given the chances they created.

Hill insisted, however, that the result – celebrated at pitchside by chairman Sharon Brittan after the final whistle – was just reward for the work the squad had done on the training ground since it was assembled in August.

“It’s too difficult to explain the mechanics of that game, the way we arrived at this point with the players we’ve got missing,” he said after the game. “We played a system tonight with players who have barely been on the training pitch and credit to them.

“They stuck to their task, stuck to the plan and played against another good side tonight.

“They haven’t limped through it or been victims they pushed on and I think we got a deserved result, not just for tonight’s performance but for the players’ effort that they have put in since we all came together. There hasn’t been one moan, one groan. We have known it is going to be really difficult to get results but in adversity we’ve done well.”

Hill had lost Sonny Graham, Thibaud Verlinden and Dennis Politic to injury before the game but tweaked the team’s tactical approach, bringing in Chris O’Grady, Josh Earl, Joe Dodoo and Luke Murphy to chalk up a convincing performance.

“I thought it was a very good performance in and out of possession,” he said. “I looked at the weekend and thought it was a good chance to play Adam Senior, and I haven’t dropped him, the other players had to step up.

“I have had Josh Earl on the training pitch for a week. He wasn’t quite right for Saturday but he had to play tonight, I needed him to step up alongside Yoan Zouma and he did do.

“Other players stepped up – Luke Murphy came in and was excellent, Chris O’Grady has barely been on the training pitch and he was great, Joe Dodoo was magnificent. I think every player showed what they were worth. We can’t forget the save Remi (Matthews) made in the first half either, goalkeepers win you games.”

Hill also paid tribute to the travelling support, who had celebrated wildly at the final whistle.

"We have tried to play in a way that represents the values of the fans and they deserve that tonight," he said. "Every week they turn up in numbers and they absolutely deserve that."