In January Puncheon looked like he had committed career suicide when he used Twitter to slam Southampton executive chairman Nicola Cortese – his boss.
Puncheon didn’t pull any punches. He accused the Swiss-Italian of forcing him to train with the youngsters, called him ‘Nicolina’ and threatened to spend the rest of his contract, that runs until 2013, training with the reserves and youth team.
But then Cortese called him in for clear-the-air talks and the winger apologised to him. The next day he was back in training.
"It’s all about growing and maturing as an adult and a player and I’m doing that now," Puncheon said after scoring the winner against Reading. "The gaffer has given me a platform and given me a chance and I’ve grasped it with two hands. That’s what’s happened and that’s why we are where we are.
"I wasn’t nervous about [meeting Nicola] because he is a man of his word. We had a meeting, we spoke. The next day I was at training. That was the most important thing for me to be settled and start playing again. We had clear-the-air talks and as far as I’m concerned that’s all history. I’m just pleased to get the chance and keep producing."