On-loan winger Jason Banton 'delighted' to be at Plymouth Argyle until the end of the season
ON-LOAN Crystal Palace winger Jason Banton is enjoying playing regular first team football for Argyle.
Banton, 21, signed for the Pilgrims at the end of January and has scored three goals in six starts.
Prior to moving to Plymouth, however, Banton had made only two substitute appearances in senior football.
Now, not much more than a month later, he has emerged as a key player for Argyle and signed a new contract at Palace until the end of next season.
Banton put pen to paper on his new deal with the promotion-chasing Championship club before an agreement was struck for him to stay with the Pilgrims for the rest of the current campaign.
His involvement could be crucial as Argyle continue to fight for Football League survival, with an away game against table-topping Gillingham coming up tomorrow.
Banton told Herald Sport: "I'm delighted to be at Plymouth until the end of the season.
"I sorted out my deal at Palace and then Plymouth made it clear they wanted to keep me. I'm more than happy to stay.
"It's rare a loan player comes in and starts games from the off. To play six out of six in my first month was great and, hopefully, that will carry on until the end of the season.
"It's the first time in my career I have had a stretch of firs- team games and to sign my deal at Palace just topped it off."
Former Argyle manager Ian Holloway is Palace's boss and he clearly believes Banton has a lot to offer.
Banton was part of Palace's development squad until Holloway took over at the south London club in November. The winger was soon promoted to training with the senior players and made his debut for the Eagles in a 0-0 draw at home to Stoke City in the FA Cup.
Banton said: "I spoke to him (Holloway) on Monday and he just wants me to carry on playing well for Plymouth.
"It has been good to come in and get on the scoresheet. Every little helps. Hopefully, I will carry that on.
"I have settled in really well. They are a good bunch of lads and it feels like I have been here all season and I have only been here a month.
"The coaching staff are great so I couldn't ask for any more."
Argyle moved off the bottom of the table in League Two after a 2-1 victory over relegation rivals Barnet at Home Park last Saturday.
Banton said: "It was a massive win. We have pegged them back and put them under a bit more pressure as well."
The winger had been injured in the previous game, Argyle's 1-1 draw at AFC Wimbledon, and was a doubt before the clash against Barnet.
He said: "It was a dead leg and I didn't do much training leading up to the Barnet game. I wouldn't say I played bad but out of all my performances it wasn't so good.
"But as professional footballers you have those games where you have just got to work hard for the team and, luckily, Conor (Hourihane) and Ronan (Murray) came up with the goals to win it for us."
Argyle face a difficult task against Gillingham tomorrow but the trip to Priestfield Stadium holds no fears for Banton.
He said: "Since I have been here I think our best performances have been away from home because there is a bit less pressure. At home you are expected to win.
"Everyone will be expecting Gillingham to beat us but we will all have the belief we can win the game. Let's just see what happens."