Jason Puncheon is brimming with confidence in the aftermath of our 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield last time out, so much so, that the native South Londoner sees no reason why he and his Palace teammates can’t target a Europe League place between now and May.
This interview with Jason highlights the extent to which Alan Pardew has transformed the mindset of our players during his 11 months in charge. Encouraging them to dream of what could be, should they play to their true potential each week. It’s difficult not to feel as if we’re going places with him in charge.
In a detailed interview with the Evening Standard, former Southampton midfielder Puncheon has discussed the change in mentality that the squad has undergone since Alan Pardew arrived from Newcastle at the start of 2015, insisting that, as a squad, we now feel capable of going toe to toe with any side for 90 minutes, regardless of their status.
Having been with the club as a youngster, Puncheon is well aware of the troubled past the club has had to endure, but now, with a strong possibility of further investment from US billionaires Josh Harris and David Blitzer, it’s plain to see that Jason, along with his teammates, are looking towards the next few years with genuine excitement.
Whilst the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United are likely to maintain a monopoly on the top league positions for the foreseeable future, the immediate chasing pack are growing stronger by the day, our success over the last two years has catapulted us into the group of sides who are capable of beating almost anyone when we’re on our game.
Clearly buoyed by this, Puncheon’s comments in the interview above display a deep-rooted confidence over the direction in which we are heading. Having been reborn as a player since making the switch to Selhurst Park, there are one or two pundits within the game who are championing Jason for a place in Roy Hodgson’s England squad, but for now, the 29-year-old seems content to focus fully on the task at hand domestically.
There has always been a natural tendency to shy away from talking too openly about the potential for future glory amongst Palace fans, with our supporters having lived through far too many false dawns to allow themselves a chance to dream of what may lay in store, but with the likes of Puncheon and Pardew demonstrating an unshakeable sense of inner belief, there are certainly more than a few reasons to feel confident about what the next few years in SE25 will bring.