The second-placed Bluebirds kept up the pressure on leaders Wolves as Joe Ralls’ 84th-minute penalty secured a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough.
Cardiff were the dominant side for the majority of the game at the Riverside, with their victory enabling them to draw a line under a brief wobble that saw them fail to beat Derby and Birmingham.
Warnock was delighted with his players’ response to last weekend’s defeat at St Andrew’s, and admits his players are exceeding expectations as they fill an automatic-promotion place.
He said: “We were aiming to be in the top six at the end of October but we’re setting our sights higher now. I’m too long in the tooth to get carried away, though.
“The players gave me everything and I couldn’t have asked for more. The players missed a few chances and left me sweating a bit at the end.
“I should have been sat there with a cigar on at the end, but it wasn’t quite like that.
“I got the response after the defeat last week, but this league is like that. That’s why I love it because you don’t know what’s round the corner.
“You don’t get carried away too much when you have a good run or a bad run. We’ve had a couple of blips, but you’re going to get that.
“We’re a genuine bunch of lads, but you get what you pay for and we are limited in certain areas. I’m proud of their never say die attitude though.”
Home manager Garry Monk felt Boro were unfortunate to lose, but accepts they are in the middle of a difficult spell.
The Teessiders have failed to win any of their last five matches, and find themselves in the bottom half of the table despite having started the season as the favourites for automatic promotion.
Boos rang around the Riverside at the final whistle, but Monk was keen to accentuate the positives even though Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was only forced to make one save.
Monk said: “It’s clearly a frustrating period for us. We knew going into the game it wasn’t going to be one with a lot of chances because of the way Cardiff set up, so we knew we were going to have to show patience.
“We were in the ascendency and if anyone was going to win, it looked like us, so it was a really harsh result. But that’s the period we’re in.
“We understand the fans’ frustration, but what’s very clear is that we stick together. It’s easy to lose focus on what the players have done really well, even today there were a lot of good things.
“We’re getting punished for errors, but we know the good things we’re doing will get us through.
“There was a lot of positives in how we controlled the game and forced them back and they settled into that defensive mode.
“We’re very close to getting to that situation where those things go for us. When we do get through this period, you’ll see a lot of positives.”