Keith Hill described Bolton’s 2-2 Sky Bet League One home draw with AFC Wimbledon a “magnificent achievement.”
Joe Dodoo’s first goal for bottom-of-the-table Bolton in the fifth minute of stoppage time rescued a point after Finnish striker Marcus Forss twice put the Dons in front – his second coming just nine minutes from time.
But Hill urged patience as he attempts to steer the club to safety.
“The players’ courage and fighting spirit is still there, but we are not by magic going to win League One,” said Hill.
“People have got to embrace this new era and understand where we are.
“We are here to build a future and the one thing I won’t be is a scapegoat for the past.
“With respect to size of squad, ability of squads, AFC are miles in front of us.
“To get a point from them was a magnificent achievement. Historically, we are a bigger club than AFC Wimbledon.
“But in respect of building blocks, they are a million miles in front of us.
“If we put it into a 400 metres track, they are 200 metres ahead of us with respect to player recruitment, stability and continuity.
“I can feel there is tension being built of expectation, we should be walking all over AFC Wimbledon. We are nowhere near.
“There has got to be more understanding for this group of players because they are giving us everything.”
Wimbledon boss Glyn Hodges was delighted by the return to form of top scorer Forss but claimed Dodoo’s equaliser came after the four allocated minutes of added time had elapsed.
“He is sharp and had his shooting boots back on again,” said Hodges of his Brentford loanee who netted his ninth and 10th goals of the campaign after 41 and 81 minutes.
“He has the smile back on his face and his confidence is back up again.
“He scores all sorts of goals as well. He is hungry and wants to sniff goals out. He is one of the best finishers I have ever seen.”
However, Hodges was less enamoured by the Dons’ failure to see out the game.
“Bolton are a decent side, have some experience and asked questions second half,” he added.
“But to equalise after the game had finished was disappointing. I thought the four minutes were up and they scored on four minutes 30.
“However, we had chances to clear the ball, so we are disappointed.
“Perhaps we are clutching at straws hoping the whistle is going to blow.
“We weren’t as efficient in the last couple of minutes as we should have been.”
Daryl Murphy’s third goal in as many games had earlier brought Bolton level for the first time after 56 minutes.