Nigel Clough said it would have been a "travesty" had Sheffield United not beaten Colchester United, following his side's 1-0 win at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Substitute Chris Porter's late penalty earned the Blades a sixth straight win and moved them up to 12th in the League One table.
Clough said: "I think it would have been a travesty had we not got the three points.
"It's not just the results that have pleased me, it's the performances too and we can take a great deal of heart from it.
"I don't think Mark Howard had a shot to save for us. We thought we missed a bit of an opportunity in the first half - we dominated the game that much.
"But we didn't really make the most of our situations again. We had a little bit of frustration at half-time with them, because we had dominated so much.
"We needed a little bit more belief but we kept plugging away.
"Their goalkeeper made a great save from Ben Davies with about 15 minutes to go and we got into some brilliant situations.
"It wasn't quite there for us but fortunately we got the penalty and came away with the win."
Colchester boss Joe Dunne said: "It would probably have been unjust to Sheffield United had we got a point but we would have taken it, based on how poor we were.
"Overall, we deserved nothing from the game and it was the right decision to give a penalty.
"It's just disappointing - as badly as we played, you don't want to lose that way.
"We just didn't pass and move and what did surprise me the most about it was that we had three strikers on the pitch.
"There's no point in having them on the pitch if the service to the strikers is non-existent.
"I felt we needed to get more of a foothold in midfield and aimless balls from back to front nullified what we were asking the players to do.
"We just need a break at the moment. We haven't played well - we managed to stay in the game somehow but it's gone against us."
Colchester goalkeeper Sam Walker saved John Brayford's header in the opening stages of a lacklustre first half.
Sheffield United came even closer three minutes before the break when Ben Davies' header flashed wide from Jamie Murphy's delivery.
Jose Baxter's fine curling effort came back off the foot of a post just after the hour as the Blades pressed.
U's goalkeeper Walker then made a wonderful reflex save to deny Davies from point-blank range from Brayford's cross.
But Porter struck home from the spot with three minutes remaining after Freddie Sears had fouled Davies in the area, to seal the Blades' win.