Cambridge head coach Mark Bonner hailed his side’s second-half display after a 2-1 win at Southend put them top of the League Two table.
The U’s fought back from a goal behind to pick up all three points and Bonner was delighted by the improvements made after the break.
“The second half was better but it needed to be,” said Bonner, who spent six years coaching within the Shrimpers’ youth set-up before joining Cambridge.
“They caused us too many problems in the first half. The wind was always going to be a factor but we felt it could be different in the second half.
“The early goal just after half-time really helped us but we were really frustrated, disappointed and angry with our performance in the first half.
“We were probably lucky to be only 1-0 down at half-time and it was a good response in the second.
“They made it hard for us and it was scrappy but we found a way to win against a team who are fighting for everything.”
The bottom of the table Shrimpers dominated the first half with the backing of a strong wind and both Simeon Akinola and Timothee Dieng saw efforts saved by Dimitar Mitov when well placed.
Southend eventually went in front in the 27th minute when a right-wing corner from Sam Hart was headed home by Akinola from close range.
Cambridge regrouped at the break and drew level within a minute of the second half when Harrison Dunk’s left-wing cross dropped for Jack Iredale who thundered an 18-yard shot into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar.
The visitors remained on top and bagged what proved to be the winning goal in the 68th minute when Paul Mullin’s dangerous right-wing cross was tapped home by Joe Ironside.
Southend came close to rescuing a point when Akinola curled a 20-yard shot against the outside of the right post.
But they were unable to draw level as their run of four straight home wins came to an end, much to the frustration of boss Mark Molesley.
“It was a scrappy battle but we asked a lot of questions in the first half,” said Molesley.
“We only got the one goal and we were unlucky not to get a couple more. It was a game of two halves and we momentarily switched off for their two goals which is the frustrating thing.
“We’ve got a little bit disorganised in two areas and it cost us. Cambridge are top of the league and they punish teams.
“We’re bitterly disappointed but we needed to show more quality and guile ourselves.”