Boss Martin O'Neill hailed the performance of skipper Gareth Barry in Aston Villa's 2-1 win at home to Reading in the Irishman's first game in charge at Villa Park.
Barry, whose future at the club is still in some doubt, netted the winner just past the hour mark, after Juan Pablo Angel's penalty had cancelled out an early opener by the visitors.
O'Neill said afterwards: "Gareth Barry was terrific. He played really well and scored a fantastic goal to win it for us.
"We want to keep him and we are in the throes of doing something about it. I want him to stay. It is really important to us.
"He is a popular lad and we want to keep him. I don't want to pre-empt anything, but I definitely want him to stay at Villa.
"We started off slowly in the game and that was not the plan. Reading took the game to us and we were on the back foot very early.
"We got ourselves a goal down and got into a bit of a tizz. But we got an equaliser from the penalty spot before the interval which was psychologically a bit boost.
"A good goal won the game for us, but even then we couldn't finish it off and had plenty to do."