Ian Holloway hailed Yeni Ngbakoto after the French winger helped QPR come from behind to beat Cardiff 2-1 at Loftus Road.
The Bluebirds led through Sol Bamba’s header before Ngbakoto equalised five minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.
And Ngbakoto’s corner with seven minutes remaining was met by Matt Smith, with the ball going in off Cardiff defender Jazz Richards.
Ngbakoto, whose father passed away shortly after his summer move from Metz, initially struggled for fitness and form but has looked much sharper in recent weeks.
R’s boss Holloway said: “He’s been very patient. I’ve asked him to do some fitness work behind the scenes and he’s lost all sorts of poundage.
“He had a terrible bereavement just after he joined us and I felt that affected him, but he’s one of our family and he’s an absolute joy to work with.
“He’s made another statement there for me to pick him.”
Holloway also praised Sean Goss, who made his first league start.
The midfielder, a January signing from Manchester United, was substituted in the second half but Holloway insisted he was happy with his display.
“It’s a good debut. It’s a solid start,” he said.
“He showed one or two bits and pieces. It’s important I pick him with the right balance – I thought Mass (Luongo) was the right player to play with him.
“I want him to go and get the ball a little bit more, but I’m delighted for him.
“He’ll feel aggrieved that we’ve actually gone in front when he’s come off, but he more than did his bit.
“He’s got to step from Under-23s football into a big league and I’m delighted with him.”
The result meant it was a losing return for Cardiff’s former QPR manager Neil Warnock on the day Rangers marked the 50th anniversary of their 1967 League Cup triumph.
Holloway’s players wore a special-edition all white kit in honour of the one worn by the Wembley-winning team managed by the late Alec Stock, and several members of that side were presented to the crowd at half-time.
Holloway said: “Today, honouring the people who are famous to all us QPR people, to have them here and to come out and win, I’m delighted.
“We came from behind and sometimes you need your substitutes to do it.
“Yeni’s first goal was a great move and that gave us the impetus to go and get another one.
“It was a competitive game, but what else do you expect with two competitive people in the dugout who love QPR – and Neil now loves Cardiff?
“Neil will be fuming, but there wasn’t a lot between us and I did feel our substitutes coming off the bench made the difference for us, and I’m delighted for them.”