Paul Lambert says he had no worries throwing Callum Robinson into the intense atmosphere of the Southampton game because of the forward's strong mentality.
Lambert admits that Robinson is "only a baby" in terms of experience at the top level.
But he believes the free-scoring reserve striker warranted a Barclays Premier League debut against the Saints.
The boss said: "Callum is only a baby.
"He's been doing really well for the reserves.
"He's got years and years to go before he can be classed as an established professional footballer.
"But he's on the right ladder at the moment.
"He's been doing great. I have always said it, if you're good enough, I will play you. He's deserved his chance.
"He's a really good kid.
"He has been on the bench quite frequently. I just thought the kid deserved a chance, regardless of the situation.
"Sometimes as a kid, you play without fear because you don't have the responsibility of an older lad.
"He's miles away from being the finished article but I knew he could handle it mentally."
Lambert also paid tribute to the boisterous claret and blue crowd who stuck with the team from first minute to last as Villa earned a valuable point.
He added: "The crowd were very good. They were brilliant.
"It was fantastic support. We need them.
"We need that support to get us over the line. But they were excellent."
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