Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce has been delighted with the performances of goalkeeper Nicky Weaver at the start of the season.
Weaver has found himself thrust into City's starting line-up following David James' departure and injury to summer signing Andreas Isaksson.
The 27-year-old's displays between the posts have led to glowing reviews from Pearce, who will now find it hard to drop Weaver when Isaksson returns to full fitness.
"He has not just done well between the posts but there has been a lot of professionalism that has gone into his performances," Pearce told the Manchester Evening News.
"It showed when he tried to defuse the situation with Joey Barton last weekend.
"I think he has got more confidence in his own physical attributes now than he had at the start of the season. I got a feeling that in training and in reserve games, he was more nervous about diving because he had the time to think about it.
"At present he is composed and confident which is what you want from your goalkeeper. If someone suggested to me that he had been our best player so far this season then I couldn't argue with that over the eight games we have played.
"I am delighted for him. Nick deserves everything he gets because he has worked extremely hard over the last two or three years to get where he has now."
After a number of injury-ravaged seasons, Weaver was offered a new one-year deal in the summer which is due to expire in June.
However, the impressive start to the campaign could find Weaver handed a further extension.
Pearce said: "Some people are on the outside of squads and thinking they are not getting a sniff but if their form is good enough I will back them by picking them and I have done that with Nick this year.
"I am delighted to have him around and was pleased to offer him a one-year contract in the summer and pleased too that he decided to stay and have a go when he could have decided to go elsewhere and get some more regular first-team football.
"The way the season has panned out for him he will be delighted with what he is doing and he has got to keep doing that for me."