He told Villa's website: "He is doing really great. He is trying to do that all of the time (holding the ball). That has been the most encouraging aspect. But he hasn't just been doing that for the last week or two, he has been doing that since the back-end of last season.
"It's a great credit to him. Allied to a really great burst of speed that he has, he knows he has to bring all of those attributes into his game.
"He knows that he has to drive, practice and work hard at those because some people will have an absolute natural talent to do it."
O'Neill continued: "I'll go back to my own career...no matter what Brian Clough might have said to me, or the reserve team manager might have said to me, the best way to learn is actually on the field of play.
"Then you see what your opposite number is doing, and has the ability to do, and you think: 'I am going to try and emulate that.'
"That is where Gabby has scored so very impressively. He wants to take it on board. He knows that part of a centre-forward's job is to try and hold the ball and to make sure he brings players into the game.
"That has been a big attribute. He is trying to improve on it. The great thing about him is that I think he always feels he can improve. Never for once do you ever get the impression that he thinks that he has done enough, as it were.
"Gabby knows that he has to work at those things. And to continue to work on them. And there is nothing wrong with that."