Joe Dunne was not too downhearted despite seeing his Colchester United side fall to a 2-0 defeat at Port Vale.
Doug Loft's double condemned the U's to their first defeat of 2014, in what was their first match in League One since January 18.
U's boss Dunne said: "You can't fault the effort and commitment of my players and I don't think anyone would have of complained had we got the goals in the second half.
"We just couldn't get going in the first 20 to 25 minutes but there wasn't much to the game.
"We'd talked about Doug Loft in training and that's the rustiness of not being in game mode.
"He scored at the back post which we talked about but these things happen and I thought that the response was very good.
"I thought that we dominated the second half and unfortunately, the only thing we couldn't add was the goal.
"We controlled the ball and passed it well and played some great stuff and even with five minutes to go, I thought we were still in the game.
"Overall, I'm really pleased with the performance based on the fact that we haven't played for a long time."
For a full match report and pictures from the U's game at Port Vale, see Wednesday's Daily Gazette.