Neil Warnock declared Cardiff’s season starts now after a first Premier League win against Fulham.
Cardiff climbed off the foot of the table – and above Fulham on goal difference – with a 4-2 victory in front of a near 30,000-crowd in the Welsh capital.
Josh Murphy, Bobby Reid, Callum Paterson and substitute Kadeem Harris were all on target as Cardiff claimed a first top-flight win since April 2014.
“Our season starts today,” said Cardiff manager Warnock .
“Even at half-time after we had had a couple of goals, we said this is our time now.
“If you look at the dressing room it’s like we had won the league last season.
“We know we can compete at this level.
“We’ve waited so long – nobody wants to go to the middle of October for their first win.”
Cardiff head to title-chasing Liverpool next weekend before home games against Leicester and Brighton before the November international break.
“There are four or five clubs who I think we can pip (to stay up),” Warnock said.
“I never doubted this moment would come, but it is hard when you don’t get a win and have played well.
“Why not enjoy the moment? We’ve had enough times coming in here taking about a defeat.
“I’m happy and relieved, it’s been a long season without any results.
“I’ve not been disappointed with the performances, just the goals.”
Andre Schurrle had fired Fulham ahead with an 11th-minute beauty from 30 yards and highly-rated 18-year-old Ryan Sessegnon levelled it at 2-2 before half-time with his first Premier League goal.
But Fulham slipped into the bottom three as a fourth defeat in five games was confirmed by yet more dreadful defending.
The Londoners’ have the worst defensive record in the league, having now conceded 25 goals in nine games.
But Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic insisted he was the man to turn things around, saying: “I can find the solution.
“My job is to keep working and fighting to find the solution.
“Last year people were against us, but we found a way to improve ourselves and be more competitive.
“We showed some positive things, but the negative things are killing us.
“I will keep going and keep working for my best XI.”
Jokanovic bemoaned the defending which has seen Fulham concede 12 goals in their last three games.
“We are frustrated after this kind of defeat,” he said.
“We are conceding too many goals even when we defend in numbers.
“We made too many mistakes and we were not confident with the ball after we scored.”