Nottingham Forest goalkeeping coach Tim Flowers has praised Karl Darlow for his form over the opening period of the season - despite the shot stopper having been signed by Newcastle over the summer.
Darlow has been a mainstay in between the sticks for the side and has caught the eye with a number of impressive displays.
Although the custodian still has plenty of time to develop, he is establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Championship and Flowers paid testament to his ability today.
“He’s been first class," Flowers told the club's official site. “Right now, I think Karl is in a decent place. He’s played well for the lion’s share of the season.
“At his age he still has a lot of development to come. He’s a big, strong lad but learning in a game environment week in week out is key for a goalkeeper."
Darlow could have been forgiven for having his head turned over the summer but he has shown great maturity in his attitude towards playing this season.
The 24-year-old is only on loan at Forest having agreed to move to Newcastle United during the previous transfer window - but Flowers insists that he is concentrating solely on helping the Reds.
"He hasn’t once mentioned Newcastle United and he’s totally focused on playing for Nottingham Forest," the Forest coach said.
Darlow will be hoping that he can help deliver a promotion season at the City Ground before moving on in the summer.
A poor run of form, where Forest went 10 games without winning, has meant that they can afford few slip-ups between now and the end of the campaign and they must start winning with increased regularity if they are to meet their expectations this year.