Solskjaer made five changes to his team with tomorrow’s Premier League trip to Manchester United in mind.
But despite good possession, his side was frustrated by a determined Wanderers looking to respond positively to their 7-1 mauling at Reading seven days earlier.
The Norwegian brought on Craig Noone and lively frontman Fraizer Campbell and five minutes after the restart the pair combined, with the aid of an Andy Lonergan faux pas, to settle the fourth-round tie.
Solskjaer said: “Good players make an impact and the two of them are good players.
“It was a great finish by Fraizer after another one of those runs by Nooney.
“It was probably our best move of the day – an instinctive and very reactive finish by Fraizer.
“I was very happy with that.
“It’s obviously an important part of the job to pick the right team from the start and know what you are going to do with your subs.
“We have a game on Tuesday and Saturday and those two matches were in the back of my mind.
“That’s why I picked the team I did.
“We gave those two lads half a game rest.
“I thought it was the right time to put them on; I thought Fraizer would be able to run down the channels.
“We just needed a change.
“In the first half we did well in terms of possession but I don’t think we had many shots on goal and didn’t really threaten in behind.
“So something had to happen.”
Solskjaer, linked with the Reebok job before Dougie Freedman was appointed, was not surprised his team found it tough going early on against a Bolton side he expected to come out fighting after their heavy defeat at Reading.
And he thinks the character shown will stand them in good stead for the remainder of the Championship campaign.
He added: “They were always going to bounce back and prove to everyone they are better players than a 7-1 defeat.
“Sometimes it happens where you get everything possible going against you and that’s what happened to Bolton last week.
“They showed today they are a team that is prepared to work for each other and that bodes well for them going forward.”