Bury boss Ryan Lowe praised the “attitude and commitment” of his players after they put a troubled few days behind them with a 2-0 Sky Bet League Two win over Colchester United.
A second-half brace from Dom Telford moved the Shakers up to second, following victory at Gigg Lane.
Bury’s players are yet to be paid last month’s wages but they ended a three-game losing run to beat Colchester.
Lowe said: “I was pleased with the three points and the attitude and commitment of the boys was different class.
“I made some changes and it was a case of seeing who was in the right frame of mind to play.
“It’s not good, situations like that, but we have to make changes to see who’s ready to play.
“It’s affected a lot, I’m not going to lie but when they put performances in like that, it’s not about the team – it’s a squad game.”
Bury went ahead five minutes after half-time when Telford nodded in from close range, after Nicky Maynard had headed Nicky Adams’ corner into his path.
And the hosts wrapped up their victory in the 66th minute when Telford stooped to head home his second goal of the game from Maynard’s accurate cross.
Lowe added: “I’m pleased for Dom Telford over the past few weeks, because he can give us more.
“I’m pleased for him to get his two goals because I’ve given him a hard time over the last few weeks.
“I’ve asked him for 17 goals because he’s told me he wanted to get 20.
“A lot of credit has to go to the players and the staff and the club, because it’s been a tough week.”
Colchester lie five points off the play-offs following the defeat.
The closest they came to scoring was when Sam Saunders’ long-range effort hit the crossbar, early in the second half.
Colchester boss John McGreal said: “We came off at half-time feeling that we had one of the best halves of football, this year against one of the best teams in this division.
“They have quality players but tactically, the game was not lost. It was lost by mistakes again.
“We nullified everything and they haven’t had a shot in the first half.
“We have started particularly well in the first half and we got into some good goalscoring opportunities.
“We just feel as though it’s when we’re getting into that 18-yard box at the minute and it’s a lack of confidence.
“It’s difficult to explain because I’m not in that position – you can only ask the players when they are in that position.
“We were hoping to get a goal to get that lead that we haven’t had of late. But they changed the game on its head and it was poor defensive mistakes by us.”