Martin O'Neill was relieved to see Aston Villa avoid further Carling Cup humiliation as an early goal from Gabriel Agbonlahor earned them victory over Cardiff.
Villa had exited the competition to lower-league opposition in four of the previous five seasons, but Agbonlahor netted for the fourth successive match to earn Villa victory.
O'Neill said: "I think that Cardiff were never out of it, and played some nice football, but we seemed to be in reasonable control, and I am delighted to have won and avoided another defeat in the competition."
He added: "Agbonlahor is on fire at the moment, he is playing brilliantly for us. He has got so much confidence now.
"The goal he scored was maybe the sort he would not have attempted three-quarters of the way through last season, but he has so much confidence."
O'Neill was pleased with the performance of rookie midfielder Fabian Delph.
He said: "Fabian is going to be some player for us. He will become a proper player.
"I am pleased with the progress he has made since coming here, although I don't want to put too much pressure on him."
Villa have now chalked up six successive victories, and again were without the services of midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker after his training ground spat with O'Neill.
O'Neill said: "There is no update regarding Nigel. I have nothing more to add."
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