Crystal Palace’s Jason Puncheon: ‘All that time in the lower leagues made me more determined’

Once deemed a journeyman, the industrious creator and supplier to Palace’s flair on the flanks is now integral to Alan Pardew’s revitalised team. A real local hero talks about the lessons learned on his tough journey

A balmy Saturday evening on Merseyside back in mid-May and, with the shrill of the referee’s whistle drowned out by the appreciative din for one of Anfield’s own, the playmaker who had actually stolen the show was the first to reach Steven Gerrard. Jason Puncheon cradled the departing Liverpool captain’s head in his hands and muttered words into his right ear that Gerrard later admitted he could hardly hear. The veteran, emotionally spent by the finality of it all, could offer only a pat to the back of the head in return.

Related: Liverpool 1-3 Crystal Palace | Premier League match report

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