Luton boss Nathan Jones believes keeper Simon Sluga deserves real credit for the manner in which he has adapted to life in the Championship.
The 27-year-old came in as Town’s record ever signing during the summer of 2019, signed by previous boss Graeme Jones for around £1.3m from Croatian top-flight side HNK Rijeka.
Thrown straight into the side, he struggled in the early stages of his Luton career, eventually coming out of the team before winning his place back for the second half of the season.
This term, barring missing seven games with injury, Sluga has been first choice and has gone on to keep eight clean sheets, two more than last campaign.
His latest came in the superb 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night, where the Croatian international saved well from Glenn Murray and Joe Lolly in the first half.
He then excelleed after the break, making a superb low save from James Garner before coming way off his line to make a pressure-relieving punch clear in stoppage time.
On his efforts this term, Jones said: “A lot of credit for him as it’s difficult when you first come into a club when you are not a national of that country and that league.
“You come in and everything is different, and the Championship is unforgiving, it’s a tough league.
“Without being disrespectful, it’s probably stronger than the Croatian top league as there are some top teams in Croatia, but the strength of the Championship is probably stronger than that.
“So for him to come in as a new keeper, and not have family here, it was always going to take time to settle, but he has now settled wonderfully, a real good character, miserable, but a good character, and he’s done fantastically well.
“I spoke to him briefly today, I don’t speak to him very often because he doesn’t need a lot, he’s very low maintenance in terms of that.
“I just said to him ‘I’m really pleased with everything you’re doing’, and sometimes that’s enough.”