Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill was full of praise for his young side as they kept the pressure up on the Premier League's top sides with victory over Reading.
He said: "I was delighted with the win and I felt all day that we were capable of scoring. We were great. I felt that even allowing for the penalty miss there were goals in us and we looked a constant threat.
"I think at 1-0 up, in the second half with Reading pressing forward for an equaliser anything could happen but Marlon Harewood came up trumps again as he has done in three out of the last four games, coming off the bench.
"Ashley Young is just class because when Gabby (Agbonlahor) rolled the ball across to him he had to control it and as the keeper came diving out, he had to fire it home. I feel he is always capable of doing that.
"Gabby was very tired before the game but then he got into the match and I thought he was a real handful. He did some light training this week but he hasn't played for a couple of weeks since I took him off in the game against Fulham so to see him come through the game through was particularly pleasing."
The Northern Irishman added: "With Marlon coming on, Gabby went wide right and I know he is capable of being able to defend too and that is the great thing about him. He and Young have the capability that they can drop into a position and if they have to go deep they can then go on 30 or 40 yards with the ball."
With Mellberg out injured O'Neill revealed Nigel Reo-Coker had played through the pain barrier and a sickness bug picked up during last week's training camp in Spain.
He said: "Nigel was terrific. He has not been feeling the best all week and I think he picked up a stomach bug when we were away and it has never cleared up properly so I am really pleased with him and I thought he did brilliantly.
"Carew was also immense and with him playing like he is at the moment, he is as good as there is. I have often said this year that sometimes he does not realise how good he is but he is full of self confidence at the moment.
"He has as much self-confidence now as I believe he has ever had and in the second half he was incredible."
The Villa boss accepts his side are still in contention for a European place this season but refuses to get carried away.
He said: "We are in contention - not necessarily for the Champions League - there are four or five sides up there separated by virtually nothing.
"But my own view is that of those teams being talked about for a Champions League spot some might not even qualify for Europe.
"If that happened to us it would not stop this being a decent season for us but we will press on. This win should give us a big chance and some confidence again. I thought although we conceded late on there was a great resilience about our play."