Lennon talked up Bolton's chances of earning promotion despite sitting bottom of the table going into the weekend, and a 1-0 win at Birmingham City on Saturday saw the former Celtic manager get off to a good start.
Matt Mills netted the game's only goal in the 20th minute and Birmingham's chances of salvaging a point received a significant dent late on as goalkeeper Darren Randolph received a straight red card for fouling Craig Davies in the penalty area.
Striker Lee Novak replaced Randolph in goal, but Davies blazed his spot-kick over the crossbar and Bolton held on despite Lennon being sent from the touchline in a late fracas for a crucial win to move off the bottom of the table.
Another manager to begin his new job in encouraging fashion was Russell Slade at Cardiff City, masterminding a 2-1 win over Forest to end their 11-match unbeaten start.
Legal proceedings with Slade's former club Leyton Orient had meant his debut at Cardiff had to wait, but he was not disappointed as first-half goals from Federico Macheda and Peter Whittingham did enough to earn victory, despite Britt Assombalonga netting a late consolation.
As a result of Forest's defeat, Norwich City were looking to consolidate their place at the top of the table, only to lose 1-0 at Fulham.
Kit Symons' bid to earn the Fulham manager's job on a full-time basis received another boost, as Sean Kavanagh's fine 22nd-minute strike was enough to earn the Welsh coach a fourth win from his last five matches in charges.
Three sides moved above Norwich, with Watford's 3-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday in Slavia Jokanovic's first game in charge seeing them go top on 24 points.
Derby County and Middlesbrough end the weekend one point behind Watford after picking up 3-0 and 2-1 wins at Reading and Brighton and Hove Albion respectively.
Millwall came back from 3-0 down at home to Wolves to salvage a 3-3 draw, with Ricardo Fuller's double in the final eight minutes proving decisive, while Huddersfield Town beat Blackpool 4-2 to send the Lancastrians back to the bottom of the table.
Bournemouth beat Charlton Athletic 1-0 as both sides eye a move into the play-off places and the two remaining matches ended level, as Blackburn Rovers left Ipswich with a 1-1 draw and Wigan Athletic were held to a goalless stalemate by Brentford.
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