The on-loan Porto wideman under went surgery on a hernia problem and is only now threatening to get up to speed in the Premier League.
McAuley told the Birmingham Mail: "He's a good player. We have been waiting a long time for Silv because he's been coming back from that double hernia operation.
"So we've been waiting a while for him to come good but I think he showed on Saturday that he's a good player and he's one that the crowd will love.
"He gives us something different with his turning and ability to beat people and things like that.
"I spoke to him afterwards and asked him about the difference between playing in Portugal and playing here. He said 'it's quicker'.
"His English is coming on. He's a good lad.
"He comes in every morning and goes around everyone shaking hands.
"We try our best to communicate and a few of the lads speak Portuguese so he's got a common language with a lot of the lads."