Steve Bruce praised the performance of 18-year-old Connor Wickham after he helped Sunderland to a welcome point at home to Aston Villa.
The youngster, signed from Ipswich Town back in the summer for a fee of £8million, had been kept on the bench by Bruce.
However, after impressing in last weekend's victory against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium, he started again and once again, made an impact for the Black Cats.
Stilyan Petrov fired Villa into an early lead but Wickham equalised with a superb left-foot strike just before the break.
Richard Dunne then headed Villa back in front with six minutes left but Sunderland still had time to draw level when Stephane Sessegnon nodded in Seb Larsson's free-kick.
And Bruce told Sky Sports: "Up here, there is huge expectation and there has been a clamour for him (Wickham), because we've paid a lot of money for him, but we have to protect him.
"He's only 18 and there are not many 18-year-olds playing in the Premier League are there, and scoring goals, so it will do him the world of good.
"It was a great finish with his left foot - his weaker foot and overall, I was very pleased for him. I thought he did very well at Bolton and so long may it continue."
And on the game, Bruce added: "When you're 2-1 down with three minutes remaining, I think you've got to be pleased with a draw. Certainly in the second half, I didn't think that we had done enough.
"Villa changed the system a little bit and went three in the middle of the field and we found it very, very difficult to get control of the game.
"I can't say enough of the attitude of our players. I think that's every game apart from Bolton last week where we seemed to be going behind and we're making a fist of it but today, I'm pleased that we got something out of it."