John Askey was thrilled with his Port Vale side after they moved into the play-off places with a 3-0 win against Colchester at a windswept Vale Park.
Mark Cullen struck twice in the second half following Tom Conlon’s 14th-minute opener as Vale recorded a third consecutive victory.
Vale manager Askey said: “I thought for the full 90 it was as well as we have played all season.
“It was nice we have seen out the game, so I am just really pleased.
“We are probably getting used to playing in windy conditions, but the good thing was the pitch was decent, which enabled us to play football when we could.
“We had quite a few chances: Tom Conlon had another good chance and Monty (Cristian Montano) had a couple.
“After playing against the wind in the first half, we were pleased to come in at 1-0.
“The worry coming in at half-time was that, having played well, the wind was going to drop in the second half, but they maintained the tempo and fully deserved the win.”
He also praised his squad’s strength in depth, as Vale were without the suspended James Gibbons, Mitch Clark and Tom Pope.
Askey added: “Hopefully that is because we don’t swap and change the way we play too much.
“Everybody who comes in knows what is expected in the position they play.
“I am not trying to get too carried away by saying that, but that’s how it looks at the moment.”
Vale showed their potency in attack in the early stages and twice went close through Montano and Conlon.
They broke the deadlock when Rhys Browne outpaced Ryan Jackson and slipped the ball through to Conlon, who blasted it past Colchester goalkeeper Dean Gerken.
Montano went close again for Vale before defender Leon Legge cleared Colchester midfielder Ben Stevenson’s shot off the line.
The home team doubled their advantage in the 54th minute after Harry Pell failed to deal with David Worrall’s ball, which Cullen latched on to and slotted home.
And they made sure of the three points in the 72nd minute, when the former Blackpool striker met Luke Joyce’s pass and struck the ball beyond Gerken.
Colchester boss John McGreal, whose side have suffered back-to-back defeats, said: “We made a lot of bad decisions at times and made uncharacteristic mistakes.
“It was a poor performance – there is no dressing up of it.
“They say goals change games and we gave away poor goals today.
“You have to give Vale a lot of credit in the way they set themselves up, which worked really for them.
“They were better than us, there is no question about it.
“We probed once or twice, but we didn’t really create much, so I am disappointed and for the fans, who made their way up here.
“We conceded three goals on Tuesday (against Grimsby), so there is more hard work to do in training.
“Something has to be done about the continual mistakes we have made in the last few games.
“We have a dozen games left and they are all cup finals.”