Cardiff boss Neil Warnock lauded his team’s spirit after they beat Bristol City in his first game in charge.
The Bluebirds edged a passionate derby 2-1 on Friday to climb out of the Championship relegation zone.
Warnock, who succeeded Paul Trollope earlier this month, already feels this is a Cardiff team in his image.
“To see a team of lads die for me, I can’t ask any more. We’ve got limitations, I know we have, but those lads gave everything,” he said.
“I thought we deserved it but, as all derbies are, it was close and nerve-wracking at times.
“Life’s too short. We’ve got to enjoy it while we can. I’m 67 and when that final whistle goes, that’s what I’m in it for.”
Bamba’s dream debut
The win over Bristol City was only Cardiff’s third of the season, lifting the Bluebirds up to 19th in the Championship table.
Warnock had already made his mark on the squad having signed Sol Bamba, Junior Hoilett, Marouane Chamakh and Kieran Richardson on free transfers within a week of his appointment.
Centre-back Bamba and winger Hoilett both made their debuts against Bristol City, and Bamba made himself an instant hero with Cardiff fans with a formidable defensive display which he capped with what proved to be the decisive second goal.
“He’s wasted his career at times. He thinks he’s [former Germany captain Franz] Beckenbauer at times,” said Warnock.
“He does nutmegs and all sorts of things in the last five years. I tried to sign him when he was at Leicester and I’ve followed his career.
“I said to him last year on the pitch when we beat them [Leeds] when I was at Rotherham: ‘You’ve got to play for me, you.’
“Three or four weeks ago I said: ‘I’m going to get a club, Sol, will you come and play with me?’ Then I rang him up and said: ‘We’re going to Wales, pal. Head and kick it. Don’t do any frills.’
“If he does that, he’s as good as anything in the league.”