Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew praised midfielder Jason Puncheon for his contribution to Palace’s first league victory of 2016 on Saturday.
The Eagles beat Norwich City 1-0 thanks to Puncheon’s 68th minute strike and, after the game, Pardew said, via Eurosport, that the winger “hasn’t had his greatest season in terms of goals and assists, but he’s a massive individual for this football club."
He continued to say that Puncheon "represents everything that’s right about a black player, coming from this area.”
Puncheon grew up in Croydon, and the Palace boss believes "he was feeling the pain of this run and his introduction back in the last two games has been a huge lift.”
Winless run comes to an end
Palace had not won in the league since a 2-1 victory away to Stoke City on December the 19th, with their only wins of this year coming in the FA Cup against Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Reading.
The three points collected over the weekend, however, mean the South London side are now 10 points ahead of Sunderland in the final relegation place with six games left to play.
On his sides final league position Pardew said that he doesn't "know" if the team are safe, but he believes that this win has "gone a long, long way towards [securing survival].“
He went on to say that that Palace "want to look up. Mid-table is only three, four points away, and that’s our next target.”
The Eagles welcome Everton to Selhurst Park on Wednesday, and they then face Arsenal and Manchester United in the space of four days before they head to Wembley to face Watford in an FA Cup semi-final. Though their league campaign has been disappointing in 2016, the club still have a shot of silverware.