Cumbrian keeper Dean Henderson says he is relishing life at Nottingham Forest – after a “difficult” start.

The Whitehaven star says his lack of first-team action at parent club Manchester United last season meant he took time to return to top form.

But the 25-year-old says he is delighted to be playing regularly again and playing his part in Forest’s campaign.

England hopeful Henderson helped Steve Cooper’s side to a crucial 1-0 win at relegation rivals Southampton on Wednesday.

It was the Cumbrian’s fifth clean sheet of the Premier League season, and came after reports that Man Utd had been considering recalling him from his loan.

With Henderson now expected to see out the season at the City Ground, he said: “The first few games were difficult when I didn’t play last season but it’s been great to play as often as I have so far.

“I’m relatively happy with my form overall.

“It is hard to be perfect every single game but I’ve had some big moments. I’d like to think I have contributed to the team picking up a few points.

“I just want to get better as the season goes on. I’m really enjoying it here.

“Coming in during the summer with a big turnaround of players was interesting but we’re getting our feet under the table.”

Former Carlisle United academy keeper Henderson made his comments in Forest’s match programme ahead of their 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

They sit 15th in the top-flight table.

His long-term future at Man Utd remains the subject of speculation – a situation Carlisle will remain interested in, should the keeper eventually make a permanent move that could trigger revenue through a sell-on clause in the deal that took Henderson from Brunton Park to Old Trafford in 2011.

Man Utd this week allowed loanee Martin Dubravka to return to Newcastle, leading to speculation they could bring Henderson back to understudy David de Gea.

They are now being linked with a move for Jack Butland.