Crawley Town manager Mark Yates praised his players for overcoming problems in the run-up to the game to still put in a match-winning display to beat Cambridge.
The squad have been down to its bare bones this week after four players left the club and two more were injured.
Also the weather and flooded pitches had meant they could not train on grass leading up to the game.
Yates said: “That is the proudest I have ever been of a team today.
“This week has been a bit of a mish-mash: I had 11 outfield players training yesterday and two keepers.
“I apologise to the boys for the numbers we had and for not training on grass as the training ground is flooded.
“It has been a bit of a shambles but the players haven’t moaned; we’ve been working on a 4G across the road.
“We’ve worked in the gym and with weights and have done things a bit different.
“They were magnificent today. It wasn’t free-flowing football but seeing the conditions out there, my players were superb.
“We were better than Cambridge at everything: we were better at defending, we were better at picking up second balls and were better at looking like a goal-threat.
“They (Cambridge) have had a shot in the first half and a 30-yarder in the second half.
“Apart from that we’ve kept them at bay and it was important to keep a clean sheet today.
“Gavin and Ross were really good. We knew Gavin might have a little blow-up at some stage. But he kept going and worked his socks off and showed moments of what a good footballer he is.
Yates praised new signing George Smith who only signed for the club this morning, having arrived last night on a month’s loan from League 1 club Barnsley.
“I’d like to thank (Barnsley manager) Luke Johnson for making things happen.
“I thought George was brilliant today. His set-piece delivery and his general composure and ability was just there for everyone to see from the first minute.”
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