Colchester manager Joe Dunne felt his side's victory was well deserved after they ended a nine-match losing run with a 2-0 win over Walsall.

Late goals from debutant Jabo Ibehre and substitute Freddie Sears gave the U's their first win since November and helped them climb out of the relegation zone.

Dunne said: "I thought it was a well-deserved win, especially on our second-half performance. We had to be very competitive, in terms of the gameplan.

"It wasn't a great game, in terms of style or football.

"But when you are where we are you have to dig in and I thought it was a really good performance.

"It's been a long time coming and the fans showed great patience. They've been magnificent and the staff have been very supportive of me, along with the chairman. I'm really pleased for everybody - players, staff, fans and the chairman.

"When we spoke at half-time we said that we were in the game and we felt we could go on and win it and that's what we did. We played like an away team in the second half, but David (Wright) sat in front of our back four and did exceptionally well and had a great debut."

Walsall manager Dean Smith said: "I don't think Ian (McLoughlin) has made a save all game and a mistake leads to the first goal.

"It could have gone anywhere, but it falls to Jabo (Ibehre) and that opened the game up.

"We had to get something out of it, but they've ended up scoring a disputed second goal where we felt it was offside. All runs come to an end. We're really proud with the run we've been on and we've got to go again now."