Jim Bentley lauded Morecambe’s promotion form following the 2-1 victory at Cambridge.
Goals from Aaron Collins and Jordan Cranston secured maximum points, leaving the Shrimps 18th.
Cambridge end the season winless in seven home games, with Tom Knowles’ late free-kick only the second goal Colin Calderwood’s team have scored in those games.
“If we had the squad that we’ve got now at the start of the season I do believe we’d have been right up there,” Bentley said.
“I said to the lads ‘credit to you, the way you’ve been second half of the season, for the form you’re in and the feelgood factor’.
“We’re not always going to play great. At times today we played well, at times we didn’t play well, but we found a way. We ground it out and got a 2-1 win.
“We could have scored more, could have conceded a few. I thought we started better, they had one little attack but we looked the most threatening in the first half an hour.
“The second half never really got going for us, we didn’t get hold of the ball well enough or pass it well enough. They had a good go attacking their own fans and we had to absorb it because it kept coming back. I was pleased to hear the whistle go.
“We’re in good form. I’d like to see a league table from the turn of the year. It’s all gone well and there’s a real feelgood factor. Long may that continue.”
Colin Calderwood was not too downbeat about Cambridge’s performance, despite their poor form at the Abbey Stadium.
Morecambe goalkeeper Mark Halstead had denied Jevani Brown an equaliser before half-time when he saved his low penalty.
“There were one or two really good moments,” Calderwood said. “We had enough crosses at the beginning of the second half, that’s the sort of style that I like and encourage.
“We have to bring the danger, and the second goal is probably the only time we don’t fire something into the box or shoot, play backwards and then they break.
“It was a bit unfair on the team to lose the game I think. I cannot accuse them of not having a proper go today because they’ve tried everything.
“They found a team who were excellent when they got the lead and in the moments when we were in the ascendancy we didn’t have enough and we didn’t make the goalkeeper make any more good saves, except the excellent penalty save.”