Puncheon: Season starts now
Jason Puncheon is surprised some have written off Southampton's survival chances already but thinks it could play into the Saints' hands.
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Saints have lost their first four matches back in the top flight, leading some to suggest that manager Nigel Adkins' position is in jeopardy and relegation back to the Championship beckons.
Puncheon could not help but smile when told of such gloomy predictions and, rather than focus on the start to the season, was keen to focus on the positives heading into Saturday's clash with Aston Villa.
"[Being written off] is always a good thing you know because we can use that," the 26-year-old said. "We're always going to be the underdogs as people would say.
"If you're totally honest, if you look at the Man United and Man City games we didn't let them get in their stride.
"We held our own and the good thing is we can only better. We have got no points on the board, being 'rubbish' if everyone wants to say that.
"In football, there is always thin margins. People always say 'they could have done this', 'they could have done that' but now we have got to put things into action ourselves.
"We have a big game on Saturday and three points are needed.
"The Jason Puncheon so you take the positives from those games we've played into the game on Saturday."
Puncheon is one of a handful of Southampton players with Premier League experience, having spent loan spells with Blackpool and QPR during the previous two campaigns.
He only returned from the latter in January and looked certain to leave Southampton for pastures new after a public falling out on Twitter with chairman Nicola Cortese.
However, the pair - rather surprisingly - patched things up and, having helped Saints secure automatic promotion from the Championship, Puncheon is loving life in the top flight.
"It wasn't much so persuasion," he said when asked how he managed to get back into the fold.
"As much as people see what Mr Cortese is about, he is very genuine about what he wants to do.
"If he wants something, he is going to get it. When I first came to this football club he said we would be in the Premier League in four years.
"It's a year ahead of schedule and he has done it. A lot of things that he says he is going to do he does and that can only be good.
"It was always something I could imagine but things happened. That is the past now."
Puncheon is now only concerning himself with the future after learning from some of the mistakes of the past.
"I am 26 now and I have grown up," he said. "I have children, I have got a family to think about and provide for. I have a career to think about and that has only helped.
"Not only that, this football clubs has helped me. As much as there has been ups and down, the football club have been there for me.
"That goes down to the chairman, the manager, the players in the dressing room - that has helped me grow as a person and a character.
"I won't sit here and deny anything as everyone has a past.
"Everyone has a past and without life you don't have a past and you won't have no future.
"Your future is in your own hands and it is only down to you to change it and that is what I've done."