Nigel Pearson praised match-winner Andreas Weimann after the Austrian’s double downed Cardiff in the Severnside derby.
Weimann scored twice in Bristol City’s last away game – a 3-2 win at Reading – and he repeated the feat as the Robins overcame Cardiff 2-1 in the Welsh capital.
The 30-year-old missed most of last season after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury but signed a new deal at Ashton Gate this summer.
“He had a cruciate but in the modern day it’s not the career-threatening injury it used to be,” Bristol City boss Pearson said.
“He’s very diligent with how he recovers and it’s good to have him back.
“He played very well, him and Chris (Martin) were very efficient and that’s what we need.
“At the end of last year he was very close to being in the squad but we just said ‘what’s the point?’
“He knows what he’s good at and that’s what it’s about with players.”
Weimann’s brace – an opportunistic first-half effort and a ferocious 70th-minute volley – inflicted Cardiff’s maiden defeat of the Sky Bet Championship season and moved Bristol to within a point of the Bluebirds.
“Physically it was a big challenge,” Pearson said. “We needed to be releatively big today and they did well.
“I think the players have a bit of trust in each other, which is really good.
“We look more like a team than we did and our points total doesn’t necessarily reflect the performances we have had.
“It was a very important result, but it’s just one game.”
Cardiff had equalised through a Daniel Bentley 59th-minute own goal after Nathan Baker’s attempted goal-line clearance had struck his grounded goalkeeper.
Kieffer Moore had the original effort, but the Wales striker was kept on a tight leash amid talk of a possible Premier League move before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
Cardiff manager Mick McCarthy said: “I don’t think the talk about potential transfer moves is affecting him at all.
“He has got all that paper talk and interest because he is a great lad. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing happening.
“He puts a shift in and works hard, he’s got the quality. I’ve got no complaints with him at all or how he played.”
On the defeat, McCarthy added: “My team gave me absolutely everything but we lacked a bit of quality.
“We’re going to lose games in the season and it’s how you respond.
“Generally we’ve responded well because we’ve shown that willingness and spirit to work.”