Alex McLeish has paid tribute to Andreas Weimann after his injury-time strike gave Aston Villa the points at home to Fulham.
Boss delight at youngster's impact
A relieved Alex McLeish has paid tribute to young forward Andreas Weimann after his injury-time strike gave Aston Villa the points at home to Fulham on Saturday.
The 20-year-old came off the bench to scramble home his first goal for Villa from close range two minutes into added time after Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer had fumbled Gary Gardner's long-range effort.
It was Villa's first home win since the start of November and eased some of the pressure that had been growing on Villa boss McLeish.
The former Birmingham manager confessed after the game that he was relieved to see his side finally win at home again, but was quick to pay tribute to his players and in particular his young match winner.
"There's a bit of relief no doubt about that," McLeish told Sky Sports
. "The dugout can be a very tense place to be, certainly when you are not winning and certainly when you have not won at home for a long time.
"Especially so at a club like this where the fans' expectations are massive, and it was a great relief to see the goal go in.
"But we had a great feeling for Weimann, we put him on the bench and I said to my coaches before the game that somehow we had to work him into the game.
"He's a guy who has been scoring goals for the reserves. I saw him play in a reserve match while I was at was Birmingham, he's an all action centre-forward - he may have scored a hat-trick and I remembered his name when I came to Villa.
"Is he ready? Well he's shown he can score goals at this level."
The Villa supporters, who have been quick to vocally criticise their manager in recent weeks, chanted 'you don't know what you're doing' when McLeish opted to replace Charles N'Zogbia with Weimann in the 71st minute.
His decision was vindicated in the finest style possible with the Austrian's late winner, though McLeish was quick to play down his managerial masterstroke.
"Sometimes it comes off and sometimes not," he added.
"But they weren't desperate subs, they were calculated, we did know what we were doing at those moments."