Punch Relishing Even Keel

By SFC Media Sun 22 Jul Club

Jason Puncheon is hopeful that his pre-season performances will help him to nail down a place in the Saints squad for the coming campaign.

The winger has found regular football hard to come by at St Mary's over the past couple of years, but worked his way back into Nigel Adkins' thoughts for the latter half of the 2011-12 season.

Only James Ward-Prowse has been given more game-time than Puncheon so far in Saints' calendar of friendlies, with Jason scoring the winner in Saturday's 1-0 win over Évian Thonon Gaillard.

"It's good," Puncheon tells Saints Player of his increased pre-season involvement.

"I always knew that coming back last year was a bit difficult because it was the middle of the season and the team was doing well.

"I knew that I had to come back in pre-season when I would be on a level pegging with everyone, and that's happening now.

"My time here has been up-and-down," continued the 25-year-old.

"This season is a very important season for everybody at the Football Club - and for myself. It's time to knuckle down.

"I'm not getting ahead of myself, but I'm feeling good in terms of my body, I'm quite happy with my football and with how the team is going.

"I'll just keep going and see where it takes me."

Saints have now won three of their four pre-season fixtures, with the training camp in Évian-les-Bains already being heralded as a massive success.

Puncheon says: "It's tremendously pleasing and does good for the morale of the team as well coming off the back of the Arsenal and Anderlecht games, and now the two games we've had out here.

"It's been a good week, and it's always good to end it with a win.

"We're going back to England now, where we have another four games left. It's just about building on those for the team and for individuals. It's always good to get back to normality.

"I think everybody can come home having done themselves justice.

"We've come here with a lot of players and ones who have joined while we've been here, so everybody has got to come back with a lot of credit."

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