Torino manager Sinisa Mihajlovic heaped praise on Joe Hart after a sterling performance by the England goalkeeper in a 3-1 win over AS Roma in Turin on Sunday.
Ousted from Manchester City by Pep Guardiola last month, Hart joined the unfashionable Serie A side in a bid to maintain his status as England's No 1 shot-stopper.
Having kept Granata fans guessing during a few nervous displays in recent weeks, Hart was solid throughout at Torino's Stadio Olimpico where the only blot on his report card was Francesco Totti's 55th minute penalty for the visitors.
Hart revealed last week that Mihajlovic had grilled him on his real reasons for wanting to join Torino before he put pen to paper on his season-long loan deal last month.
By full-time at a sun-kissed Stadio Olimpico in Turin, the Serbian had no reason to question Hart’s loyalty.
“Before I took Hart I spoke to him to try and understand what kind of state of mind he would have here,” Mihajlovic told Sky Sport minutes after Torino secured only their second win of the campaign.
“But I can say he’s a true gem of a guy, as well as being an international goalkeeper who has given a lot of confidence to the team. I’m very happy with him.”
Roma travelled to the Stadio Olimpico looking to close a five-point gap to leaders Juventus.
Edin Dzeko came close on several occasions for the visitors, only to be thwarted on each occasion.
Roma manager Luciano Spalletti was furious with his side’s inconsistent performance.
“It’s always the same thing with Roma, when they’re in a good period they achieve the things that they should. When the chips are down, confusion reigns,” blasted Spalletti.
“Unfortunately, we are unable to maintain consistency in our duels, in our game and in our attempts to help each other.
“There are far too many ups and downs.”
Hart was out early to steal the ball from Dzeko as the Bosnian ran down on goal, then got down low to save with one hand from the striker’s snap shot from close range.
An alert Hart then tipped over Dzeko’s header from Mohamed Salah’s delivery.
"I think that's the best performance I've seen from Torino so far, especially given the quality of the opposition," said Mihajlovic, who joined the club this summer after his sacking by AC Milan.
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