Jose Fonte has set his sights on securing a permanent Crystal Palace deal after overcoming a "difficult" start to his Selhurst Park career.

Prior to last night's clash against Cardiff City, Fonte started Palace's two previous league outings in the 2-0 defeat to Watford and Saturday's 0-0 draw away at Scunthorpe - the club's first clean sheet of the season.

And after putting in a man of the match display against Scunthorpe on Saturday, Fonte admits he is fully focused on nailing down a regular place in Neil Warnock's starting line-up.

But Fonte's newly found optimism is a far cry from his opening few weeks as an Eagles player.

After his summer season-long loan switch to SE25 from Portuguese giants Benfica, Fonte quickly found himself warming the bench as former boss Peter Taylor kept faith with his tried and tested central defensive pairing of Mark Hudson and Leon Cort.

But Cort's departure to Stoke last week has given Fonte a chance to impress new boss Warnock - an opportunity that the 23-year-old looks to have grasped with both hands.

And Fonte admits those opening weeks under Taylor did knock his confidence - but insists he wants to put pen to paper on a long-term Palace deal after impressing under Warnock.

"It was very frustrating for me to be on the bench, said Fonte.

"I've never stayed on the bench for that long a period - but I'm a professional so I had to accept the decision and just work hard in training.

"It was a difficult time for me.

"But I would like to stay permanently - I'm enjoying it here at Palace and English football.

He added: "My agent hasn't told me anything so I just have to keep working then maybe Benfica and Palace can work something out - but I would like to stay."

Considering that it was Taylor that brought Fonte to the club, the defender admits he did not know quite what to make of Warnock's appointment.

"I was a little bit apprehensive because the new manager didn't know me - but he wasn't afraid to play me and I'm very happy with that.

He added: "Now I have to keep doing my job - he gave me confidence and put his trust in me."