Alex Neil felt his Preston North End side deserved to edge out Cardiff City and extend their fine run on Friday night.
Tom Clarke's 90th minute header sealed a 1-0 victory and made it nine games unbeaten for the Lilywhites.
"It wasn't a game for the football purist at times," said Neil.
"We knew it was going to be a rough, scrappy match.
"The pitch wasn't great, there was very little grass on areas of it.
"The ball went from back to front quite a lot but I felt certainly in the first half if there was any football being played it was coming from us.
"I thought we looked the more threatening but our final ball was letting us down first half.
"We got in good areas but didn't test them as much as we should have.
"The second half continued in the same vain and they made the sub to try and burst the game open when they brought Junior Hoilett on.
"We responded and I thought our two substitutions (Josh Harrop and Callum Robinson) had a real impact and added that little bit of a cutting edge at the top end of the pitch.
"I thought if anyone was going to win it we deserved to win it."