Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described Federico Macheda as a "natural goal scorer" after his brace helped the Bluebirds into the League Cup third round.
The Italian striker's double and a Joe Ralls long-range effort saw off League One side Port Vale 3-2.
Solskjaer fielded a completely different starting 11 to the side that lost 1-0 to Wolves on Saturday.
He said: "When a striker scores two goals on his debut, that's fantastic."
The Norwegian said 23-year-old Macheda needs to get some more games under his belt after not playing since pre-season.
Macheda, a former Manchester United forward like his manager, could have capped his debut with a hat-trick, but saw a late effort come back off the bar.
Solskjaer said he was thrilled with the debutant's performance but said his side did not put the opposition goalkeeper under enough pressure with efforts on goal.
"First half we dominated possession... we don't shoot enough, we don't finish enough - we get into some great positions and we're just a little bit shot-shy," he said.
The Bluebirds boss, who recently defended his squad rotation policy, was full of praise for his young side.
He said some players performed well enough to force themselves into contention to play in the league.
Cardiff's next Championship match is away at Fulham on Saturday 30 August.
"It's not about keeping them happy, it's about keeping them fit and ready to go and play," said Solskjaer.
"We're not a social club, we're here to get results and performances.
"If they play well, they get the experience and get into the team on a Saturday."