Steve Bruce spoke of his delight at Lewis Grabban's contributon in the second half against Preston, stressing: "He gave us a spark".
Grabban entered the fray with Villa losing 1-0 at the break.
And the forward stepped up to slot home a penalty as we earned a point in a difficult contest against the men from Deepdale.
He said: "I thought he gave us a bit of life. He gave us that spark.
"I was delighted with his contribution. He's been itching to play and now he's had his chance.
"It was a cool finish for the penalty but he brought a whole lot more to the game.
"He played really well, and Villa Park didn't faze him, either.
"You can see why he got goals at Sunderland. I think he's going to be a very decent acquisition for us.
"Him and Keinan definitely gave us something when they came on."