Cardiff boss Malky Mackay hailed debutant Fraizer Campbell after the striker scored two minutes after stepping off the substitutes’ bench to secure a 1-0 win at Leeds United.
The table-topping Bluebirds were second-best until Mackay introduced his £650,000 buy from Sunderland in an inspired 62nd-minute substitution that proved pivotal.
Sam Byram’s careless clearance ran to Craig Bellamy whose low shot was expertly turned past goalkeeper Paddy Kenny by Campbell, who was immediately buried by his overjoyed new team-mates.
“I am delighted for Fraizer. He is very humble and has rapidly bought into our team ethic,” Mackay said: “He is a willing runner and an intelligent footballer who knows where the goal is.
“He has not played a lot of football lately so the mind was willing and the flesh was weak, but he will soon be up to speed.” Victory restored Cardiff’s 10-point lead over the chasing pack and Mackay was relieved to grab a win against a Leeds side who toppled Premier League high-flyers Tottenham in the FA Cup just last weekend.
“I’ve never had an easy game at Elland Road in my life and we knew it would be tough today, especially as they had an incredible, very well deserved win against Spurs last week,” he said.
“But we applied ourselves really well. David Marshall made an excellent save for us in each half and I will take limiting Leeds to two chances at Elland Road.”
Bellamy added: “We are not a team of individuals, nowhere near. We know that winning by the odd goal is enough because we ended up getting three points from it.
“If we keep doing that until the end of the season, we will all be delighted.”