Colchester boss Joe Dunne praised the commitment and togetherness of his players after their 1-1 draw at home against Crawley.
The U's preparations had been rocked by more injuries late in the week, with Tom Eastman, Drey Wright and Tosin Olufemi ruled out for the Sky Bet League One clash.
Dunne moved quickly to bring in loan duo Matt Taylor, from Bradford, and Jamie Sendles-White, from QPR, on Friday.
And after such an unconventional build-up, he was happy to pocket a point at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
"We've lost more players to injury, but didn't feel sorry for ourselves," said the Irishman.
"We came out and tried to win the game.
"There are a lot of things to improve on.
"We had a lot of opportunities to break, where the final ball didn't quite come off, and an on another day we might have lost.
"But after the kind of week we've had, I was very happy with the commitment levels and togetherness of my players.
"The two teams cancelled each other out.
"Crawley started well, but after we scored we got a foothold.
"Jabo (Ibehre) then hit the crossbar and had a couple of good opportunities to put the game beyond Crawley.
"But what happens? The old chestnut of them going on the counter-attack and getting a goal.
"After that there was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing.
"There weren't too many opportunities, but I'm very happy with my players and, in the end, a draw was a fair result."
Freddie Sears slid the U's in front after just six minutes, stroking home a low cross from the right by Brian Wilson.
But Crawley grabbed a deserved leveller just after the half-hour mark when Emile Sinclair powerfully headed home Nicky Adams' cross.
Both sides had other chances during an enjoyable contest.
Jeffrey Monakana had an effort deflected wide and then powered a volley into the side-netting.
Ibehre then struck the bar after being teed up by Sears.
Crawley also went close, especially in the seconds after their equaliser when Andy Drury hit the post and Billy Clarke's follow-up was well-saved by Sam Walker.
Clarke went close again, stabbing home from close-range - only for his effort to be chalked off for offside.