Colchester boss John Ward was pleased to see his side end a four game winless run as they triumphed 1-0 over Walsall.
Anthony Wordsworth's first-half spot-kick settled matters after Saddlers skipper Andy Butler had brought down winger Michail Antonio, with the centre-back also seeing red.
Ward said: "We did some good things and we made some mistakes - the most important factor was that when you look at the scoreline, we've managed to win 1-0.
"We had a fair amount of possession and we tried to increase our lead. But the important factor as well is that you don't lose it.
"We knew that we had to carry on what we were doing 11 versus 11 and that we shouldn't stop trying to do that. We knew there would be certain frustrations if things didn't come off but it was important that we got our thinking and decision making right.
"Dean (Smith, Walsall boss) told me at half-time that the penalty was outside of the box but I don't know - I couldn't see that from where I was. But when Antonio went down my first look was at the linesman and he put his flag up and gave it as a penalty."