Jason Puncheon joined the panel at a Five Year Plan podcast this week and answered a number of questions from Palace fans as he covered a whole range of topics.
On Mamadou Sakho
He has had a massive impact, the way he plays and determination on the pitch and has been a great character in the dressing room, everyone has taken to him and of course he has Christian and Yohan as a couple of players that he close to and that has helped him settle in. You know each time he crosses the white line Mama is prepared and ready.
Being The Local Lad
I can look out of the one of the windows in the red and blue bar and see where I used to live and my mum worked in the pub on the corner of the road, The Clifton Arms. It is very special to me and especially when you turn up on a Saturday for a matchday being so close to where I have grown up.
Missing The Cup Final
Being told I was not being selected for the FA Cup Final was the most testing 72 hours of my career and in my younger areas I wouldn’t have reacted in the right way but at my current age knowing the importance to the dressing room to the likes of Bolasie and Wilf and how they respond to me made me realise if I went in with the wrong attitude it would affect other people and the most important thing was about the boys and I needed to go to the final with a positive attitude, it wasn’t easy but I loved every one of those lads in the dressing room and didn’t want it to affect them.
I was told on the Thursday that I was going to be dropped and it was a raw moment for both me and the manager but we spoke the week after why the decision was made and I fully understand it was a football decision and it was what it was. He made the decision for his reasons and I am a person who believes so much about being positive in the dressing room so I needed to make sure I was in the right frame of mind for the day itself.
The Cup Final Goal
The most emotional moment of my career and the whole moment of when I scored took me by great surprise and it was strange because until the whistle blew for the game to go to extra time was when I actually realised I was playing in a Cup Final. All that was going on was just so surreal but the most disappointing thing was that we lost and I do think looking back at the game it was such a great opportunity missed there for this club to be the winners.
I still believe hopefully in the years to come I can be part of a Palace team that gets back there again.
Norwich At Home Last Season
The season I had where I wasn’t scoring was really getting to me, I was injured and had been playing quite below par but the gaffer stuck by me but then after injury I was waiting for my chance to get back in the team after two months out and came back in for the West Ham game away before that Norwich match at home. That day was so emotional for me and when I scored in that game the celebration was just pure natural instinct.
I am an emotional person; I have always been but more so playing here because it is my home town club.
On Hearing The Crowd Shout ‘He's One Of Our Own’
It makes you so proud and gives you goose bumps when you hear the fans singing your name and the banner they put up for me after I was captain and my mum was in tears seeing that. I told her it was going to happen and I told her to get there early so she would see it as normally she turns up a couple of minutes before kick-off. Having sat in that stand it’s all very emotional for me to hear and see the fans support me in the way they do.
On being told by Sam Allardyce he was going to captain the Palace side.
We were in the canteen at the training ground and he told me that he was going make me captain and he then said ‘you can smile you know!” as he joked that he wanted more reaction from me.
There are a couple of additional things you do but with day to day at the training ground I just try to be myself which I have always done, I am a character who likes to talk to people and help them and you have to learn the best way to talk to certain individuals. As for a matchday whenever I cross that white line all I want to do is win the game and if I can help everyone around me then I have done my job.
As a captain, whatever is happening in the game you have to stay positive as everyone is looking towards you so that during a game is something that has certainly changed since becoming captain.
The gaffer said being a local lad I know the club and he knows I care and will always be there to help everyone.
On Team mates
Luka is brilliant, a great character and a very good footballer and plays the position well and is for me a Crystal Palace player. He never gives in, always trying for the team always giving 100%. Luka, Wilf and Andros are lads that fans look at these types of players and know they will never give in and don’t give up.
I said to Andros that the first six months he went through a difficult period with the fans but it was not for a lack of effort on his part but since the transfer window closed he has been a completely different player and that’s great credit to him and now we are seeing the Andros Townsend we signed.
Favourite Moment In A Palace Shirt
This would be the home match against Chelsea when John Terry scored an own goal. We were on about just over 20 points at that stage of the season and the feeling was if we could win that game it would give us such a lift. We felt so superior at the way we played and the way the dressing room was after that win made me realise what togetherness was all about because after that we never looked back in that campaign.