Burnley boss Sean Dyche has praised Joe Hart for rising to his new challenge at Turf Moor.
The 75-times capped England goalkeeper ended his 12-year association with Manchester City in August when he joined Burnley on a permanent deal after loan spells at Torino and West Ham in the last two seasons.
Hart has been a Premier League ever-present since and continued his fine early-season form with a man-of-the-match performance in Burnley’s 2-1 victory at Cardiff on Sunday.
“When I spoke to him coming in he was free to play,” Dyche said.
“He had a start with the injuries (to Nick Pope and Tom Heaton) but I told him there was a big demand here with the group of goalkeepers we’ve got.
“He’s risen to that, but then he’s a quality goalkeeper. Joe needed a base again, he’s been on loan and it’s a different challenge.
“The one thing he didn’t come for was the money, 100 per cent.
“He wanted to play and test himself, he knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park. He’s taken on that challenge and enjoyed it.”
Burnley moved up five places to 12th after second-half goals from Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Sam Vokes, making his 100th Premier League appearance, gave them a second consecutive win.
Josh Murphy had equalised with his first Cardiff goal, but the Clarets stood firm in the closing stages despite having lost their England defender James Tarkowski to a stomach injury.
“This was a resolute performance because it’s difficult coming here,” Dyche said.
“They get on the front foot, get the ball forward early and it’s tough to play against.
“We couldn’t get a foothold in the game, but we did calm it down a bit in the second half and scored two good goals.”
Cardiff are now winless in seven games, with their return to the top flight becoming increasingly tough.
Already three points from safety, looming away trips to Tottenham and Liverpool could see them become trapped in the relegation zone.
“We cannot get so much more out of them,” said Cardiff manager Neil Warnock. “It’s a tough defeat to take as I was pleased with the performance.
“I thought we had just as much as them, but we were just lacking that little bit of quality.
“It’s a cruel game but I cannot fault the effort.”
Stay updated with the latest news, gossip and football stories by following us @Football_P