Phil Parkinson admits his Bolton side gave “a good Sheffield United side a lift” with their slow start at the University of Bolton Stadium this afternoon.
Chris Wilder’s Blades scored twice in the first 22 minutes through Mark Duffy and Kieron Freeman before John Fleck added a third with 17 minutes remaining.
Home boss Parkinson was disappointed with the result but said it shouldn't detract from the way his team have started the season.
Bolton stay third after this defeat but the closest they came to scoring was a shot from David Wheater which was cleared off the line shortly before half-time.
He said: "We started slowly and we got punished for that. We have been gritty and resilient at the start of the season but we were really loose in that first 20 minutes and got punished for it.
"All the basic things that we have been doing so well to make sure we stayed in games we didn't do and that gave a good Sheffield United team a lift.
"Some of the play was good but the players didn't stick to their roles and responsibilities as they have done so far this season. It's a good lesson for us because we got punished.
"The lads have been terrific so far this season to give us 10 points from five games. We're not going to get too down. We're disappointed but we'll regroup on Monday morning."