Reaching the milestone of his 100th game for the Eagles, Jason Puncheon says Alan Pardew’s faith shown in him has negated any comments from critics who say he should be scoring more goals.
“I think that’s helped, especially this season because things have been a bit difficult for me. The fans are expecting a lot because of how things went last season so it’s been hard at times because I haven’t scored and then people get on your back. But the manager has always supported me and that’s been good. Today I felt nearly back to my best and I’ve just got to keep going.”
Now in his third season at the club, Puncheon is pleased with how far the team has come, and wants to take the cup run as far as possible.
“I didn’t think I’d be in this position where I am now, and if you look at where the football club is it’s really pleasing. We want to get another home tie and to go far in this cup. You’ve got to beat some top teams but I don’t think we’ve got anything to worry about - we’ve got to believe in ourselves and keep going.”
Pardew replaced James McArthur with a forward playing midfielder in Lee-Chung Yong, and Puncheon feels the decision paid off, with the Korean supporting Wilfried Zaha and Fraizer Campbell in attack.
“When you look at the attacking line up today I think we had the right mixture of players who know when to come short, when to release someone to go in behind, and we looked a threat. Today was a hard game, but I think we dictated the play at times and created a lot of chances. Credit to Wilf and Chungy and Fraizer, who all worked their socks off - I thought it was a great team performance."
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