Russell Slade believes Anthony Pilkington can have a career as a striker after his double put Cardiff in reach of the Sky Bet Championship play-offs.
Pilkington has moved from the wing to play up front for the Bluebirds in recent weeks and has scored three in his last three appearances.
Two penalties from Pilkington clinched a 2-1 win against Preston and Cardiff manager Slade has been delighted with the Republic of Ireland international’s displays.
Slade said: “People said Anthony was a makeshift striker but I really believe he could have a career up front.
“He’s quick, he’s clever and he can finish. He is loving scoring the goals and having the responsibility of playing up top.
“We are so pleased with his contribution and he is a bit unfortunate not to have scored a few more this season.
“He’s doing a terrific job for us, he’s got seven goals and could easily hit double figures this season.”
Cardiff are just one place and three points behind Sheffield Wednesday, who occupy the final play-off place.
Slade added: “We’ve won via a couple of penalties but I thought we could have scored a few more goals.
“But this is the business end of the season and it’s all about results now.
“It’s really important that we keep creating chances the way we have been because as long as we do that we’ll give ourselves a chance in games.
“Our form is strong and we need to keep that going but we are going to need to start picking up wins away from home if we are going to make the top six.
“We are picking up points, 15 from eight games, and that’s the sort of form you need to be hitting at the end of the season.”
Simon Grayson refused to criticise his Preston side after their four-game winning streak came to an end.
Preston could have moved above the Bluebirds with a win but slipped to 10th in the Championship.
Grayson said: “The first half was a non-event, we didn’t play with energy shown in a lot of games and there wasn’t much in it, then the penalty changes things.
“We changed the system to try and get some more urgency and we looked like a different team.
“We started to cause them lots of problems but then there was the second penalty.
“I’ve watched both penalties back and they are penalties.
“But we responded well and looked like we could have got something out of it at the end.
“They were hanging on at the end and we’re disappointed but we can’t be too down because of the run we’ve been on.
“Cardiff didn’t have too many clear-cut chances, it was a bit dour to be fair but they got the breaks.”