Banton is loving being in the basement with Plymouth Argyle, while Crystal Palace strive for the throne
Crystal Palace winger Jason Banton is enjoying his time at Plymouth Argyle, even though it is a world away from life at Selhurst Park.
Banton has one game as a Pilgrim remaining – this weekend’s visit of Barnet - before his month-long loan comes to an end.
But his short time in Devon has been fruitful, and he scored his third goal in four games in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at AFC Wimbledon.
For Plymouth, bottom of League Two, and 20-year-old Banton, the Dons clash was a colossal relegation six-pointer on a freezing night in south-west London.
Meanwhile, Banton’s team-mates are in south-east London driving for the sun-drenched promised land of the Premier League.
Banton said: “I am all about football. It doesn’t matter to me whether I am in a team fighting for survival in League Two or fighting for promotion to the Premier League, I just love playing football.
“I’m just happy to be getting professional games and that’s why it is good at Plymouth.
“A lot of players go out on loan and get a few appearances, but I have been fortunate to come and play here from the start.”
Unfortunately for Banton his contribution on the night was cut short when he picked up a thigh injury - much to the disappointment of his current Palace team-mate and former Plymouth winger Yannick Bolasie, who was watching from the stands.
However, while Banton was thankful for Bolasie’s support, he is more grateful for the teachings of his good friend.
Banton said: “Yannick and Wilf have taught me a lot because I play in a similar position.
“It has mostly been about delivering an end product – it is all well and good beating players and showing off your skills but if there is nothing at the end of it, no cross or pass, then there is no point in doing it.”
He added: “Players like them have Selhurst Park buzzing at the moment. Yeah, they lost at the weekend [at Sheffield Wednesday], but it is great that we’re where we are.
“We just need to push on and get promotion and with the fans behind us, and the players we have, there is no reason why we cannot do that.”
Whether Banton’s time at Home Park is to be extended rests in the hands of Ian Holloway, a man the young star is enjoying working with.
“It has been great playing under Ian, I love playing under him,” he said.
“He makes you feel like you are the best player in the world, which is great for someone like me who is just starting their career.
“He is so enthusiastic. You will not get anyone better than him to get you playing well.”
Palace go to Derby County this weekend looking to arrest a run of nine Championship games on the road without a win.