Matty Etherington admits the win was all that mattered for his Colchester side as they beat Salford 2-1 to end a five-game losing streak.
Joe Taylor gave the Us a 42nd-minute lead with a scuffed shot from close range after Cameron McGeehan had helped on Mandela Egbo’s delivery into his path.
And Chay Cooper doubled Colchester’s advantage in the 89th minute when he latched onto fellow substitute John Akinde’s pass and slotted past Alex Cairns, after Salford had conceded possession inside their own half.
Conor McAleny gave Salford hope with a superb strike from the edge of the area in the first minute of stoppage time but Colchester held on for a vital victory.
Etherington said: “The main thing for us was the three points. The win was all that mattered and they managed to get that.
“That’s the pleasing aspect of the evening and that ultimately is all that mattered when we walked into the building.
“I’m emotionally drained right now because at 2-0, you think ‘that’s it done’ and then literally from kick-off, they go and get their goal and you’re back to square one again.
“It was a rollercoaster of emotions and I can’t explain it – until you live in it, you’ll never be able to feel it.
“I’m just so pleased for the players that we got the three points.
“We worked some good opportunities and being better in both boxes is probably a common theme over the last few weeks.
“We had chances and we can still do better but I keep saying it, the win is all that mattered.”
Salford were denied on several occasions by Colchester goalkeeper Owen Goodman, who made a crucial save from substitute Matt Smith deep into stoppage time.
Boss Neil Wood said: “The two goals we conceded were both dreadful goals to give away.
“There’s not really an excuse for them really; I’d love to find one but they were really poor goals and that’s the bottom line of it.
“It was a great strike (by McAleny) and he’s got the ability to do that. He had a chance in the first half too and I think we were the team on top for large periods of the first half.
“The thing with that is that you have to take your chances when they’re there and you have to capitalise on your momentum.
“It was disappointing to concede the first goal and it felt like it was their first real chance in the first half.
“We got momentum and were pushing for the equaliser but then we go and concede a really, really poor goal – there’s just no excuse for that goal.”