Cardiff gave their survival chances a significant boost on Sunday evening after they held on to beat Nottingham Forest 2-1.
The Bluebirds stormed ahead after just six minutes at the Cardiff City Stadium when Jordan Hugill - whose arrival on loan from Norwich was confirmed just hours earlier - fired in the opener.
Substitute Isaak Davies netted the important second goal with more than an hour gone to settle nerves and hopes of an unlikely comeback from the visitors, and though Keinan Davis did head in deep into stoppage time to extinguish hopes of a first clean sheet in 25 games for Steve Morison's men, it was not enough to spark a dramatic comeback.
Despite Cardiff's first league win since November 27, they remain in 20th place, though this result increases the gap between themselves and the relegation zone to six points. Forest stay eighth, two points outside the play-off places.
Having struggled to establish any sort of consistency since Morison replaced Mick McCarthy in mid-November, Cardiff had been slowly sinking towards the bottom three and into the relegation battle at the bottom of the Championship.
With new signings Alfie Doughty and Hugill in the starting line-up, they started on the front foot, with the latter immediately announcing his arrival after driving forward from midfield and tucking a low shot across Brice Samba and into the back of the net.
They afforded Nottingham Forest more time and space having taken the lead, yet the visitors struggled to break down their stubborn backline and, barring a dangerous ball across the six-yard box from in-demand wide man Brennan Johnson, offered little in terms of final product.
The visitors could have pulled level when a dangerous ball in from James Garner just evaded the clutches of Johnson, but soon found themselves two behind when Joe Ralls thumped a shot from 25 yards onto the left-hand post, with Davies on hand to control and casually prod the ball over the line.
As had been the case throughout the game, Forest struggled to fashion any goalscoring opportunities of note and suffered a blow when top scorer Lewis Grabban was helped off with what looked like a foot injury with just a couple of minutes of the 90 to play.
Though Forest were reduced to 10 men as a result, having made each of their three substitutions, they did manage to pull one back when Davis leapt above Perry Ng to meet an inswinging corner, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
Cardiff City: Smithies, Drameh, McGuinness, Morrison, Ng, Doughty, Wintle, Ralls (Vaulks 82’), Doyle, Watters (Davies 57’), Hugill (Collins 69’).
Subs not used: Phillips, Flint, Bagan, Pack.
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Spence, Grabban, Colback (Silva 68’), Zinckernagel (Davis 59’), Lowe, Johnson, Yates, McKenna, Cook (Cafu 80’), Garner.
Subs not used: Horvath, Figueiredo, Bong, Hammond.