Dave Jones, the Cardiff manager, was delighted by Craig Bellamy's goal-scoring return to the side as City won 2-1 at Barnsley on Saturday to maintain their second place in the Championship table
"Craig Bellamy was always going to play in this match," said Jones, who had been deprived of the striker's services for the last five games by a knee problem. "We set a target for him. After 65 minutes our physio wanted to bring him off but Craig wanted to carry on. That made my decision a lot easier."
Bellamy is on loan at Cardiff for the whole season from Manchester City and scored his second goal for Jones' side with a smart finish from the edge of the area in the 42nd minute. That put Cardiff 1-0 up but Jason Shackell equalised for Barnsley, home keeper Luke Steele saved Peter Whittingham's penalty and Seyi Olofinjana fired Cardiff's winner before the visitors' Darcy Blake was sent off.
Norwich stay in third after two goals from Simeon Jackson and a Wes Hoolahan penalty brushed aside Bristol City 3-0 at Ashton Gate, a result which sent Keith Mullen's side to the bottom of the table. "No one is getting carried away at this early stage of the season," said Norwich manager Paul Lambert about his newly promoted side. "Through a combination of having good players at the club already and bringing in some talented new ones, we have adapted well to life in the Championship."
Watford, many people's tip for relegation in August, recorded their fourth away win of the season at Sheffield United, Marvin Sordell's close-range finish in the 16th minute earning a 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane. "I'm delighted with another away win," said the Watford manager, Malky Mackay. "This place, throughout my career, has been a tough place to come – both as a player and a coach. After the interval I was pleased with the guts and commitment we showed when defending."
Middlesbrough let slip a 2-0 lead at home to Portsmouth to draw 2-2, under-fire manager Gordon Strachan admitting that "it felt like a defeat". Only 13,000 were at the Riverside to see Boro take charge through Matthew Bates' strike and a Barry Robson penalty. However, Pompey pulled one back through a David Nugent header, then levelled with a late Liam Lawrence penalty after Robson was sent off for elbowing Aaron Mokoena in the area.
"I was very disappointed and it feels like a defeat because we were two goals up and in control," Strachan said.