The 21-year-old Portuguese midfielder was the supporters’ man of the match as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side picked up a 1-1 draw at The Hawthorns.
Currently on loan from Porto, he will hope to continue in his bid to win a permanent deal in the summer as Wolves host Brighton on Sunday.
And Richards insists the fact Vitinha was trusted to come in against the Baggies bodes well for him.
“It’s a positive sign, the fact he’s in at this stage,” said Richards, who won two League Cups and scored 194 goals for Wolves.
“A manager like Nuno will have roughly made his mind up, not just on matches but on character in training as well – how a player fits in with the rest of the team.
“It’s a very positive sign that he’s putting Vitinha in at this stage. It means he has got real confidence in the lad.
“Most managers at this stage, if they’ve made their mind up about not keeping someone, then they won’t be in the team.
“So, hopefully, he’ll carry on improving in the next three or four games.
“There’s nothing to lose from a team point of view. You’ve got young players where you know there’s something there in them, and he’s one of them.
“So, just give him the experience. Fabio Silva has started to come through, and with Vitinha, the more games he plays, the better he will become.”
Wolves have the option to buy Vitinha for £18million, although there is scope to lower the price.
“He’s adjusting to playing against first-team players and there’s nothing like playing against, and with, senior professionals,” added Richards.
“It’s difficult for a manager to put a young lad in but there’s a lot of talent there which, hopefully, we’ll see blossom.”