Pulis said this week he was not sure Gayle was ready for Premier League football but he gave the 23-year-old the final 18 minutes at Villa Park to stake his claim.
And with three minutes of injury time ticking down, Gayle picked up the ball on the left, beat Fabian Delph and curled a superb shot into the top corner to earn Palace a 1-0 victory.
Pulis said: "It's a fantastic strike. He can do that and there was no one more pleased than myself to see it go in.
"It's the same with Johnny Parr at left-back, I haven't seen a lot of certain players. I'm a manager that picks a team and, if you're in that team, it's more difficult to get out of the team, that's the way I've always managed.
"Sometimes for the people who haven't started, it's difficult to get that run of games, especially if the team does all right. Apart from the Newcastle game, the team has done exceptionally well."
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