Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies saluted his team’s performance as they beat Cardiff at the City Ground to go second in the league.
Former Cardiff City man Ron Earnshaw won the game for Forest with a true poacher’s goal after 67 minutes.
Wes Morgan had put the home team ahead in the first half, before Peter Whittingham equalised from the penalty spot.
Forest are now second in the league, five points behind leaders QPR but with a game in hand, while Cardiff have dropped two places to fourth, after Swansea also won.
Forest boss Davies said, “We played some wonderful football, created a lot of chances and thoroughly deserved to take three points.
“The game was a great advert for Championship football and, in my opinion, Cardiff are a little bit ahead of us in terms of their development but there were so many good things about us today.
“We had 24 hours less than Cardiff to prepare for the game but we looked bright and fit and showed great character and spirit.
“Our back five as a unit were superb and I was disappointed for them that we conceded a goal from a penalty that should never have been. I’m going to have a moan and I have seen a replay of it and it was never a penalty.
“The lads at the back deserved a clean sheet but the important thing was that we won the game.
“Yes, we’ve gone second in the table but it’s just another three points in a long, hard season. The players know there is a lot of hard work to be done over the last 15 games and we will just keep working hard and see where it gets us.
“As I keep on saying, we are good candidates for a play-off spot.”