Jason Puncheon: I’m still disappointed with the manner of my Crystal Palace exit

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Jason Puncheon is still upset at the way his Crystal Palace exit was handled.

The 34-year-old Croydon-raised midfielder made 169 appearances for the Eagles before being released in the summer of 2019.

And Puncheon, who scored for the South London club against Manchester United in the 2016 FA Cup final, claims that Roy Hodgson almost instantly ditched him after taking charge.

Puncheon suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in January 2018. He went on to make only eight further appearances before being loaned to Huddersfield Town for the final six months of his contract.

Puncheon told The Beautiful Game Podcast: “I’m disappointed with the way I left. Because as soon as Roy walked in the building, after a week he was like ‘you’re not gonna play no more’.

“For somebody to make that decision – okay he had seen me play because he was the England manager – there is obviously hidden agendas for me.

“If I’d got a chance, I’d understand. I’m the sort of person if you give me a challenge I will come back fighting. I was never really given that chance.

“I’ve still tried to put my finger on it because to this day it has bugged me. What can you do? You have to swallow it.

“That’s why I took the chance to go to Huddersfield. I never really wanted that to happen, but things happen and you move on in life.

“It was a difficult situation for me. I was at that club [Palace] for six-and-a-half years. It became my home. I was close with everyone around there. I didn’t agree with Roy’s opinion but I took it, because you have to in football. It’s a game of opinions.

“I went on loan to Huddersfield but nobody rang me, out of courtesy, and said you’re not going to get a new contract – x,y and z.”

Puncheon made a leaving speech after the final game of the 2018-19 fixture, a 5-3 win over AFC Bournemouth at Selhurst Park.

“I didn’t really want to do it,” he said. “I’m a proud man. I wanted to leave with my shirt on the pitch.

“Me and Danny Young, who is player liaison, are very close. I found out I was leaving when Danny said: ‘Oh, they want to say a farewell’.

“This is where I say football is a bit cut-throat. Whatever you’ve done at a football club, it all gets washed away and forgotten about in a split second.

“I’m a stand-up person . I like to be told A and B. If I’m told A and B, I’m fine with that.

“Steve Parish was brilliant with me. Roy, even though he made his decision, was brilliant with me – he never outcasted me.

“The final day, saying goodbye to everybody – fans and players – was the most important thing. I left in the best way possible. I would have liked to play in my shirt, but didn’t happen that way.

“It was bittersweet. I gave everything – my heart and soul to that football club.”

 


 

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