Steve Bruce hopes the good times will get even better for Aston Villa after a hard-fought 3-1 win over Cardiff extended their unbeaten run to seven games.
Villa have been transformed under new manager Bruce and are shooting up the Sky Bet Championship table.
They have climbed from 19th to 11th and already have a play-off place in their sights, just as Bruce hoped would be the case.
“This is is only the first shoots of a recovery,” said Bruce. “We are hopefully heading in the right direction because a club like Aston Villa needs to be at top end of the division.”
Goals from Albert Adomah and Jonathan Kodjia were followed by a late Rudy Gestede penalty as Villa saw off the Bluebirds.
Bruce added: “This is what the Championship is all about. We have seen Cardiff pose a lot of questions.
“Cardiff are difficult, they are right in your face and if we hadn’t shown the resistance we displayed it could have been a difficult afternoon.
“We did enough with the quality we possess, particularly the first goal.
“You have to be brave facing a side like Cardiff because it was a typical performance from a Neil Warnock side.”
Bruce was again full of praise for the goalscoring performance of Kodjia.
He said: “He scores of all sorts of goals but he appears to play better in a wide area.
“He now has six goals in seven games which is fantastic for any player. There is still a lot more to come from him.”
Cardiff boss Warnock had seen Rickie Lambert on target in the first half, briefly making it 1-1 after Adomah’s opener.
The visitors left Villa Park without reward, and finished with 10 men after Lee Peltier was red-carded late on, but Warnock looked for positives.
He said: “I was pleased how we played.
“The goals were elementary mistakes which should not occur at this level. Then we were chasing the game.
“I could not fault them as they gave everything. Probably there was a lack of quality that Villa possess, but when you pay B£40million you expect that to exist.
“We now have to get on with the next match against Brighton – another easy match.
“There is no bad apple in the side as all the players are trying their hardest. It is a lack of quality in certain areas that other teams possess.
“We need a few new players. I look at Souleymane Bamba and Junior Hoilett and I do not know what we would do without them.
“We need a couple more players like them to cause problems in other areas.
“In the second half Villa were concerned at 2-1 and the sending-off of Lee Peltier was a blow following a tackle on Jack Grealish.
“I was disappointed in Grealish shouting at the referee to get players booked. I suppose that is young professionals at the present time.”