O'Driscoll was without strikers James Hayter, Paul Heffernan, Lewis Guy and James Coppinger at West Brom on Tuesday night and Fairhurst, 20, stepped up and scored inside seven minutes after linking up with on-loan forward Billy Sharp, who was also making his first full appearance.
O'Driscoll said: "Waide's a bright boy. He's a nuisance in training and he's got all the right attributes.
"He and Billy worked really well together. Their movement was good and they gave the West Brom defenders problems all night."
Coppinger sustained an ankle injury in training in midweek, while Hayter and Heffernan have been struggling with groin problems and if all three fail to make it in time for Saturday's home clash with Ipswich, Fairhurst and Sharp will resume their partnership.