Statistics have often been used to berate Colchester United over recent times.

So it makes it all the more encouraging that all of the numbers are now stacking up in the U’s favour, following their excellent run of form.

Colchester’s win at Carlisle United confirmed their status as one of the leading teams in the form table with one defeat in six matches and more importantly, lifted them into the top half of the League One table for the first time since the opening weeks of the season.

Significantly, they now have a positive goal difference, too.

The U’s 4-2 triumph at Brunton Park made it 12 goals in their last five games and seven in their last two, having followed hot on the heels of their comprehensive home victory over Gillingham.

The last time Colchester scored three goals or more in successive league games was back in 2008 – and it’s not just at that end of the field that they are performing well.

Despite conceding twice against the Cumbrians the U’s have been pretty miserly over recent weeks, so much so that they boast the best defensive record in the division over the last eight games.

Crucially, the away form has been impressive, with Colchester tasting defeat in only one of their last seven games on the road.

Indeed, the Carlisle triumph saw them score four goals in an away league fixture for the first time since their convincing opening-day win at Preston North End in August, 2011.

If he leads Colchester to three successive wins against Shrewsbury Town next week, Joe Dunne will be a strong candidate for January’s manager of the month award.

The U’s boss deserves credit for his team’s current form.

Dunne often had to sacrifice his attacking principles last season, in order to keep Colchester up.

This season, the U’s have evolved under him and shown that they are more capable of adapting to different situations, as their last few games have shown.

With his decision-making and tactics over recent games, the U’s boss is showing that he is learning from the trials and tribulations of last season and now using them to his – and Colchester’s - advantage.