Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Bolton Wanderers 0.
Middlesbrough beat Bolton in the Championship in their first game since Garry Monk's sacking, as new boss Tony Pulis watched on.
Pulis, appointed earlier on Boxing Day, was in the stands as Martin Braithwaite put Boro ahead with a shot which took a deflection off Bolton's David Wheater.
Braithwaite then assisted Britt Assombolonga who doubled Boro's lead.
Bolton offered little in response and stay in the relegation places, one point from safety.
But the away side could have gone ahead after 24 minutes when Josh Vela's powerful strike was blocked by Middlesbrough defender Fabio da Silva.
Craig Liddle took charge of Boro as caretaker boss and his side could have taken the lead earlier when Cyrus Christie's shot narrowly missed the target.
Bolton keeper Ben Alnwick then did well to tip Patrick Bamford's shot around the post just before half-time.
Middlesbrough now sit in seventh place, three points off the play-off positions, whilst Bolton continue their poor away form, having not won on the road all season.
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis:
"I'm not going to turn water into wine. I have to make sure that I have a good look at the place before I start making any predictions.
"What I will say is that there was some very good play from us at times. I liked the attitude in the dressing room at half-time too - it was very good.
"The club is ninth in the division (at the start of the day), but if everything at the club was spot on and working well, I wouldn't be here talking. Garry still would be.
"There are problems, and there have been problems here. It's just about finding out what they are.
"The best thing we can do is get this club winning again, get the team winning, and get back in the Premier League, but that does take time. For me to stand up after being here for 12 or 13 hours (and talk about winning promotion), it's too much to ask."
Bolton boss Phil Parkinson:
"We looked a threat and got in some good positions, but it's about seeing the game through.
"The first goal was a ball down the side and Wheats (David Wheater) got across well, but a deflection carried the ball over Ben Alnwick's head. The second one is just that split-second of concentration that has cost us.
"We had a good result at the weekend against Cardiff, and it will have taken something out of us. This was always going to be tough, but we've just got to regroup and pick ourselves back up for Sheffield United at the weekend."
- 2da SilvaSubstituted forFriendat 45'minutes
- 16HowsonBooked at 33mins
- 10BraithwaiteBooked at 57mins
- 9AssombalongaSubstituted forGestedeat 70'minutes
- 31WheaterBooked at 88mins
- 5BeeversBooked at 51mins
- 3TaylorBooked at 12minsSubstituted forRobinsonat 36'minutes
- 12NooneSubstituted forBuckleyat 62'minutes
- 14MadineSubstituted forWilbrahamat 77'minutes
- Jeremy Simpson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Bolton Wanderers 0.
Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Jonny Howson.
Attempt blocked. Sammy Ameobi (Bolton Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Wilbraham.
Attempt missed. Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Martin Braithwaite.
Attempt missed. David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Josh Vela with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by George Friend.
Foul by Martin Braithwaite (Middlesbrough).
Sammy Ameobi (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Martin Braithwaite (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers).
Attempt missed. Aaron Wilbraham (Bolton Wanderers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Mark Beevers with a headed pass following a set piece situation.
Foul by Rudy Gestede (Middlesbrough).
David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.
Foul by Cyrus Christie (Middlesbrough).
William Buckley (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.