Hiram Boateng is well aware of the significance of his Premier League debut last weekend, and with Alan Pardew giving a special mention to the twenty-year old in this week’s press conference the player knows his future at Palace could well be in his own hands.
“I’m just knuckling down so I can give the manager as big a problem as I can. All along he’s been saying we have to step up and give him a problem and force our way in. I know it’s not going to come easy, but I’ll keep doing my best in training and hopefully I'll be involved Saturday and have another chance to show what I can do. All the appearances I’ve made so far have been in away games so it will be a special moment when I get to play at home."
The midfielder has also had the attention of local media who were keen to speak to the player (born and raised in Wandsworth) about finally breaking into the first team. But Boateng’s focus is solely on football, and is thankful to his parents for instilling in him the determination he has to succeed at his hometown club.
“Palace has always had a special place in my heart, I’ve been here since the age of nine so everything I’ve done growing up has been Crystal Palace through and through. My parents are a big part of why I’m here and they’re my biggest motivators.
They’ve always been there alongside me and pushing me, they’ve been at my games and out there in the rain when I was younger so that’s who I do it for - I do it for myself but I do it for my parents and my family because I want to help better them.”
Preparing to play Watford this weekend, the likes of Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney have been talked about as ones to watch, but Boateng believes like Palace, the Hornets' success has been down to a collective team effort.
“Watford have been excellent, certain players do get a lot of the praise but it’s not a game based on two players it’s a game based on the whole team. That’s the same for us, the players we have on the wings, some of the things you see them do are unbelievable, but it’s not just the wingers, in all of the positions we’ve got talented players and every game we go into looking to get a result and get a win. In the next block of games we’ve got our eye on a target of getting a certain amount of points so we want to hit that and see how far we can climb up the league.”