Paul Lambert was deeply frustrated with the Fulham loss - but heartened by the performance of Grant Holt.
Holt came into the side for his first Barclays Premier League start at Villa Park and only his second top-flight start overall - away at Everton was his other - since joining in January.
The powerful forward filled the void left by the absence of Christian Benteke, who is set to be out for up to six months with an achilles tendon injury.
Despite the 2-1 defeat to the Whites, Lambert was pleased with the display of Holt, who the manager worked with to great success at Norwich as the Canaries stormed up from League One to the Premier League in three successive seasons.
Holt has found his chances limited, with the form of Benteke at a very high level in his second season in top-flight football.
But with Benteke now sidelined, the Cottagers clash provided an opportunity for Holt and Lambert was pleased he took it.
He said: "Grant was excellent.
"It was a really good goal and I thought he led the line well. It was a very good header.
"He had not played much football. But his contribution was great."
After successive home defeats to Stoke and Fulham, Lambert also spoke of the need to finish the season well in B6 - and look to rectify the Villa Park form next term.
He added: "It's a big disappointment that we haven't gone on since Chelsea, very much so.
"Stoke was disappointing. Losing to Fulham was poor.
"The home form has to improve. You can't keep relying on your away form.
"You have to get that home form right. It's up to us to rectify it.
"The fans have been very good. You have to perform in front of them. They want to see you win."
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