Manager Malky Mackay praised his Cardiff side's perseverance after the Bluebirds extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches in all competitions with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham on Sunday afternoon.
Cardiff worked tirelessly to carve out only a handful of chances over the course of 90 attritional minutes at the Cardiff City Stadium. But Kenny Miller's second-half strike secured three valuable npower Championship points for the hosts, leaving Mackay delighted with his players' attitude and application.
"We knew they were going to be a tough nut to crack, but we spoke at half-time about being patient, that if we keep shifting it and playing the way we can play chances would come and they did," said Mackay.
"I'm delighted with the clean sheet - three in a week - so we're really building confidence as far as that's concerned. And I was delighted to see the game out as well."
Mackay expressed his pleasure at the speed with which his new-look side has gelled. The victory propelled Cardiff back into third in the Championship, despite welcoming 12 new players during the summer, and Mackay said he felt the Bluebirds have progressed as a unit quicker than he had hoped they would.
"From the start of the season I thought we could fast-track them in terms of knowing how each other play. You've got to work hard on the training pitch to make it work quickly and to that extent we've clicked a little quicker than I thought we would as a team," added Mackay.
Miller capitalised on a moment of casual defending by Birmingham centre-back Pablo Ibanez to fire beneath keeper Boaz Myhill after 68 minutes, just five minutes after the visiting Blues had been reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Curtis Davies after he brought down Miller when clean through.
Birmingham boss Chris Hughton insisted the dismissal of Davies was harsh, pointing to the incident as the moment that the match swung in Cardiff's favour.
"My first reaction was to look at Curtis and Curtis jumped up straight away from the incident and didn't feel anything because he touched the ball," he said. "I think there was enough doubt on the incident that you don't give a red card.
"Stephen Caldwell was in close proximity and I can't sit here and say there's definitely no incident, but there's enough doubt that you can't give a red card. The sending-off does change things but we can't make the kind of mistakes that we made and expect not to get punished."