West Brom manager Tony Mowbray watched his side claim a 1-0 victory over Cardiff but declared himself far from pleased with his side’s performance.
The Baggies created and then squandered a host of first-half chances at The Hawthorns before Nathan Ellington came off the bench to score the only goal of the game in the 66th minute.
Ellington’s first goal since Boxing Day, coupled with Birmingham’s 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland, propelled Albion into second place in the table, just one point behind leaders Derby who play tomorrow night.
Mowbray said: "We got the three points on the back of what was an untypical performance from us. In the first 20 minutes of the game we played lots of fluent football and created plenty of chances but at half-time I was far from happy.
"We were defensively very poor in the first half, slack, and we gave Cardiff too many chances.
"In the second half there was a huge improvement defensively and Nathan came off the bench to score a very good goal. But overall, I have to say we have played much better than that and not got anything out of previous games this season so I suppose I have to be happy with the three points."
Defeat drew a line under Cardiff’s five-game run of unbeaten games, though manager Dave Jones pointed to the loss of senior players.
Glenn Loovens, Michael Chopra and Simon Walton were all missing at The Hawthorns through suspension while Darren Purse and Ricardo Scimeca were sidelined by injury.
And former Wolves boss Jones said: "I think a draw would have been the fair result.
"Both goalkeepers were busy - theirs busier than ours - but we made a mistake giving the ball away in the middle of the park and got punished by a Nathan Ellington wonder goal."