Paul Fairclough managed the 26-year-old at Barnet and believes that his impressive form for the Saints so far this season could lead to full international recognitionSouthampton winger Jason Puncheon and has proclaimed that he has what it takes to break into the senior Three Lions squad.
Fairclough was the manager of Barnet in 2006 and signed the attacker after being released from MK Dons, who has been a key figure for Nigel Adkins' side in the Premier League this season.
“Jason was at probably the lowest point of his career when he came to us,” Fairclough told The Southern Daily Echo.
“We took him on trial and, for me, it was blatantly obvious he was a lad with talent – no question about that.
“We provided him with a platform, we believed in him, and he performed for us.
“I always believed Jason had Premiership ability. The question mark was whether he had Premiership attitude.
|A WING AND A PRAYER|
|9/1||Puncheon is 9/1 with PaddyPower to score first when Southampton face Newcastle on Sunday|
“I would love to see Jason pull on an England shirt. Jason has got the quality. We are always bemoaning how short we are of left-sided players. He would kill for it, I think.”
Fairclough also challenged Puncheon to make sure that his current form is not just a flash in the pan and continue to prove himself at the highest level.
“I’m hoping this is not just going to be a period in his game that is here one minute and gone the next,” he said.
“It’s about sustaining this now for Jason.
“He hasn’t peaked yet. I just want him to keep his head down and keep on this path. He’s a gifted player.”