Despite scoring seven goals in all competitions this season, east London-born Kane was again left on the bench at Villa Park as Pochettino favoured Spain’s Roberto Soldado playing just behind Emmanuel Adebayor.
Neither looked particularly menacing though and Tottenham were labouring in response to Andreas Weimann’s 16th-minute opener for Villa until Kane replaced Adebayor.
His first touch was a header at Villa keeper Brad Guzan and pretty much his last was the deflected free kick that earned Tottenham an unlikely victory after Nacer Chadli had equalised six minutes from time.
Kane, who had insisted on taking the free kick despite the protestations of team mate Erik Lamela, was mobbed by his team mates while the visiting fans sang the name of a local boy who could prove to be the spark Tottenham have lacked.
Pochettino will now be under pressure to start using Kane from the start of Premier League matches, starting next week at home to Stoke City.
“Kane had a big impact,” Pochettino told reporters. “He scored and I am very happy for him.
“Harry has confidence, he shot and he scored, it was a good decision to let him take the free kick.
“We are happy with him, when he plays he scores and he may have more of a role to play.”
While not blessed with great speed, England Under-21 forward Kane appears to have the priceless knack of knowing where the goal is, as was shown by a recent hat-trick in the Europa League against Greek side Asteras.
“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing,” a modest Kane told Sky Sports when asked whether he should be starting in the Premier League, but TV pundit Jamie Redknapp was in no doubt.
“Kane is an exceptional talent who works hard on his game and there is absolutely no way Pochettino can leave him out of this team now,” the former Tottenham player said.
“If you compare him to Adebayor and Soldado there is no comparison. When he came on he made a big difference, giving Tottenham a bit of zip and desire, and you could see how much he wanted to play and how much he cared.”
(Writing by Martyn Herman,; additional reporting by Charlie Ray, editing by Mark Meadows)