Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew believes once striker Dwight Gayle finds his inner confidence he will be a real handful for Barclays Premier League defences.
The 24-year-old, who was playing for Conference North side Bishop’s Stortford three and a half years ago, scored twice as the Eagles came from 2-0 down to beat Burnley 3-2 at Turf Moor.
He has now scored in Palace’s last three matches – since Pardew arrived from Newcastle – and his manager has high hopes for him.
“He just seems a very uncomplicated player,” he said.
“He is very straightforward in his work; he is quick, good in the air, good attitude – blimey there is not much more you want.
“All he needs is experience and to grow in his confidence.
“When I had Jason Puncheon at Southampton he wasn’t the player he is today.
“Because he has played in the Premier League he has that inner confidence he can play at this level and that is what players like Dwight Gayle need to find.”
Puncheon was Palace’s other goalscorer as they recovered from goals by Ben Mee, from a corner, and Danny Ings, who benefited from Scott Arfield out-muscling Joel Ward on the touchline, in the opening 16 minutes.
“I was disapponted in the first two goals,” added Pardew.
“I know the ball wasn’t in the quadrant (corner) for the first goal but that is a lame excuse, we should have done better.
“The second goal was a foul and I think the referee and linesman were distracted by the fact was the ball in or out and didn’t see the player just dump our defender on the pitch.
“Having said that we had to show tremendous qualities, not just fighting spirit and resilience – which I know is in the group – but flair and bravery to pass the ball which we did against a Burnley team who I thought were on their mettle.”
Burnley boss Sean Dyche disagreed with his counterpart as, despite their early lead, he felt his players were not at their best and that is what cost them.
“We got a 2-0 lead and I didn’t really feel comfortable with how the team was performing,” he said.
“We didn’t start particularly well and we looked slightly off all the details we do well and if you don’t do them well enough you will get hurt.
“It is probably a bit harsh on us to lose the game but they did well enough to win it and we’ve done that to other teams.
“I said to them afterwards if you come one per cent off the performance levels then you are not guaranteed anything, you have to play hard all the time, and we were just off and just off it too far for us at this level of football.
“The hardest thing in management is to snap teams out of that performance level when they are just below par.
“You can do it when there are two or three but when it is five or six it is more difficult.
“It wasn’t a radically poor performance but they were just off their levels and for a team which is learning you can’t afford to do that.”