Malky Mackay said: "I thought we were terrific tonight. We knew we were coming up against a team who were fourth in the league for a good reason and had beaten some good teams at home this season.
"So it was going to be a tough game and if we didn't start well they would do to us what they have done to a couple of teams and get early goals.
"But I thought we matched them well and in the first half controlled the ball and that was so important, I was delighted with the performance in the first half especially and in the second I thought we were very professional and I wrote that down with 10 minutes to go in my book.
"It was great for Filip Kiss to get on the scoresheet, his performance really merited that tonight, his breaking from midfield was fantastic and we sometimes forget he's 21-years-old and I thought he grew as the game went on.
"We have just played two tough away games against teams above us in the league and we've got four points out of six so it's been a really good couple of days because you go into away games against good teams to test yourself and see how you compete and I think we've done well."
Derby manager Nigel Clough felt injuries had caught up with his team but also gave credit to Cardiff.
"I think it was also a case of Cardiff being very good on the night," he said. "They are a very accomplished, experienced side and we looked a little bit short of energy tonight.
"I think it was a combination of us being a little bit off it and Cardiff being very good.
"We have got 10 players out now but we want to keep faith with the youngsters and the experience they are getting will make them better players in the future."
Clough could even afford a joke when he was asked about 15-year-old striker Mason Bennett, who made his second start.
"We said to the lads in there that if they are feeling sorry for themselves tomorrow then he's got double science in the morning!
"He's got double science, double English and double maths so if we are having a bad day, imagine how he will feel getting up in the morning for school.
"But he did well, he battled away and won a lot of headers in the first half."