Nicky Maynard wrapped up a thoroughly satisfactory few days for Cardiff City with a goal against his former club Wigan to seal victory here tonight.
Maynard tucked away only his second league goal in two years for the Bluebirds, having spent the last five months on loan at Wigan.
But it was enough to cap a good four days for a club that has enjoyed two home wins and a feeling of vindication in the so-called ‘spygate’ row with Crystal Palace.
Cardiff’s home was virtually impenetrable during their Championship-winning season two years ago and once again it is looking daunting.
The new grandstand was not the only rebuilding work at Cardiff this summer, given the club’s battered reputation in the wake of a campaign in the top flight that veered from the sublime to ridiculous.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s remodelled Cardiff looked a team full of confidence and only the right foot of Scott Carson denied Aron Gunnarsson an opener inside two minutes.
However, the goalkeeper was at fault in gifting Maynard, who spent the second half of last season at Wigan, a strong penalty claim. Maynard blocked Carson’s scuffed clearance and, though the striker was slow to capitalise, he looked to have been bundled to the floor inside the box by former Cardiff team-mate Don Cowie.
Wigan’s five-man midfield did succeed in out-flanking their hosts. Marc-Antoine Fortune was within inches of converting James Perch’s lengthy delivery. Callum McManaman then saw his near-post header well saved by David Marshall.
That save was matched by Carson on the stroke of half-time in palming aside a powerful long-range effort by Tom Adeyemi.
However, Cardiff’s tails were up and the winner came on 53 minutes. Fabio’s deep cross found centre-back Sean Morrison at the far post. The £4m arrival from Reading glanced a header to Kenwyne Jones, whose effort was side-footed in by Maynard.
Cardiff City (4-4-2): Marshall; Fabio, Connolly, Morrison, Brayford; Daehli (Pilkington, h-t), Whittingham, Adeyemi, Gunnarsson; Jones (Javi Guerra 88), Maynard (Le Fondre, 80).
Substitutes not used: Torres Ruiz, Hudson, Wolff Eikrem, Moore.
Wigan Athletic (3-5-2): Carson; Kiernan, Ramis, Boyce; Taylor (Tavernier, 76) Huws, McArthur, Cowie, Perch; Fortune (Riera Magem, 61), McManaman (Waghorn, 61).
Substitutes not used: Caldwell, Espinoza, Barnett, Al-Habsi.
Referee R Madley (West Yorkshire).