Steven Gerrard says Philippe Coutinho needs to start enjoying his football again.
The Brazilian scored on his debut as Villa salvaged a 2-2 draw with Manchester United in the Premier League.
He also had a part in the first goal for the hosts, who came from 2-0 down at Villa Park.
Coutinho's arrival - along with that of defender Lucas Digne - has given further impetus to the positive start under Gerrard.
Dream debut for Viila's new signing, he's come off the bench and grabbed the equaliser! 💥 pic.twitter.com/Q0yKKAWFbo
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 15, 2022
The Liverpool legend says his former teammate had the desired impact, having been introduced off the bench.
"You don't lose talent," Gerrard said post-match.
"The key thing for Phil is he needs to be in a place where he feels loved and supported, he needs to be smiling and enjoying his football, anyone that goes to work and is not enjoying themselves or in a positive place, it's difficult to perform or be at your best.
"He's 29 years of age, he's won all kinds of different things and he's still got that hunger to play and contribute.
"Once we get him fit and stronger, I've no doubt he can create and score goals for this team."
While the game finished in a welter of excitement at Villa Park, Gerrard says his side underwhelmed for much of the match.
"I thought second half we improved a lot but it took some honesty at half time," he conceded.
"We had to demand more from the players collectively because for the first 25 minutes we were second best, we didn't commit to what we wanted to do, we'd prepared in a positive way, we wanted to be aggressive, on the front foot, and really jump on Manchester United.
"We though there was an opportunity there but credit to them they were better than us throughout the first half."
Bruno Fernandes scored twice for Manchester United - the first following a goalkeeping error by Emi Martinez.
Gerrard, however, refused to blame his keeper - and praised his charges attitude in getting back into the tie.
"I feel the first goal we've conceded off the back of us being passive and second best and giving corners away and silly fouls so we certainly deserved to be in the position we were at half time.
"We rolled our sleeves up, we were aggressive, we were winning duels, we were on the front foot and it was much more how I want Aston Villa to play and we got something out of the game."