Cardiff manager Russell Slade believes his side's 2-0 defeat by Hull was a useful "barometer" for their promotion credentials, even though it ended their unbeaten start to the season.
Slade was unhappy his team were not awarded a penalty on Tuesday at Cardiff City Stadium.
But he was encouraged by Cardiff's seven games to date in the Championship.
"It was always going to be a little bit of a barometer," he said.
"Nobody likes losing, but we know if we can perform to that level, maybe find a little bit more in that final third, then we're not going to be very far away [from promotion].
"I do feel they [Hull] will be most certainly a top-six team."
Should Cardiff have had a penalty?
Cardiff controlled possession for long periods, but were unable to create any genuine scoring opportunities against a rigidly-disciplined Hull side.
The hosts had three appeals for penalties turned down, with striker Joe Mason apparently pulled back by Curtis Davies, Joe Ralls seemingly kicked in the head as he headed the ball and a Ralls shot blocked by Michael Dawson.
Hull manager Steve Bruce believes none of the incidents warranted a penalty, but Slade is adamant Cardiff were wrongly denied.
"We have looked closely on the DVD and we think there are three strong penalty shouts and we did not get any of them," Slade said.
"We are upset, we made our feelings felt. We have to be careful how we go about that, but he [referee Chris Sarginson] got it wrong.
"So it was a frustrating night. I thought there were some good things in our performance, we were just settling down when they scored.
"But they were ruthless with the chances they got."
Responding to adversity
Prior to their defeat against Hull, Cardiff had won three successive league games for the first time since they gained promotion to the Premier League in the 2012-13 season.
Slade's side travel to Rotherham on Saturday and the former Leyton Orient manager has called on his side to react positively to Tuesday's setback.
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"In any adversity, you want to see a response," he added.
"We have that opportunity on Saturday at Rotherham, so we'll be looking to try to hit the high levels we've hit over recent weeks.
"We'll try and get that win that gets us back on track and see if we can go on another run of six or seven unbeaten."