Super Joy for Super JoeFriday, 25th Aug 2017
"I started the campaign well and just have to keep it going now."
Joe Cardle scored his 50th and 51st goals for Dunfermline in last Saturday`s home win over Falkirk. He did not realise that on the day but feels that Falkirk were the perfect opponents for him to clock up his half century of goals.
"Hopefully there are plenty more to come. That is an achievement on its own but I feel that there are plenty more goals in my locker.
"It has been a great start for me. My main aim was to come back and prove a point really. To show the gaffer how fit I would be throughout the season. I started the campaign well and just have to keep it going now."
The 2016-2017 season also started well for Joe as well and he is hoping that this season it will continue that way. Last season he was an ever present in the starting eleven for the first seven matches but after that he was to start only another eight times for the remainder of the season. He warmed the bench for no fewer than 17 matches and it wasn`t a pleasant experience he revealed:-
"Especially at my age, you want to be playing every week. It was different when you are coming through and you are younger, you expect to be dropped to the bench. As an experienced pro it was hard to take last season. It definitely got to me.
"I always worked hard and always came in with a smile on my face but it was hard not being in your normal routine come a Saturday. The complete turnaround this season makes me feel like a completely different person on and off the pitch."
Asked to put his finger on the difference the 30 year old highlighted confidence.
"When you are not playing your head goes down and you are probably not playing to the standard that you should be playing. Confidence is a massive thing as well. I am thriving with confidence just now, a few goals helps you. Playing well and getting plaudits from the supporters and press always helps you.
"Confidence is huge and I am high on that just now. My main aim is to keep that level of consistency up. Keep doing what I have been doing and help the team to remain where we are and push on."
The departure of Michael Moffat and Gavin Reilly has created space for the signings of Declan McManus and Andy Ryan. Seventeen year old Callum Smith has stepped up from the Under 20s to make an impact and with different strikers for Joe to link up this season, he feels the options available to the manager are `unbelievable`:-
"If you look at who we have got player wise, the standard that they have set with goals and add to that Nicky Clark coming back, you can`t ask for much more. We know that there are goals there and if one player is not going to be scoring there is the chance to bring in another player who would definitely fill their boots.
"There is competition everywhere on the pitch. There is a good selection of players and I will be fighting as hard as I can every week to remain in the starting eleven and do what I have been doing for the last few weeks."
Joe has seven goals to his name already this season and it is not even the end of August! He is keen to get into double figures as soon as possible.
"Another couple on Saturday would be nice," he added. "I just have to keep it going, I seem to be in the right places at the right time just now. Fitness goes a long way to do that. I was just looking at the figures from Saturday and they are through the roof.
"I am doing a lot of running off the ball. Obviously I have been doing good when I have the ball but also tracking back and helping the team out at the other side of it."
Joe has already exceeded his goal tally of last season when he only managed five. Four of those goals were scored against Saturday`s opponents, Dumbarton. Joe hit a hattrick against them at East End Park in the opening match of the last Championship season and hit another in the 2-2 draw at the end of October at the YOUR Radio 103FM Stadium.
The return to Dumbarton Joe predicts will be no easy fixture. It`s a game that puts him up against former team mates Andy Dowie, Kyle Hutton and Raith team mate Dougie Hill.:-
"I did my `A` Licence with Dowser in the summer, he is a great guy and a great player as well. There are a lot of experience in the team and boys who have played at a good level so we are expecting a tough game.
"They will have had us watched in the last few games and they will know what we have got and what our capabilities are. If we carry on playing the way that we have been playing then I don`t think there is much stopping us.
"The pitch is normally half decent but the way that they are going to set up at home will be to try and frustrate us. We just have to be professional. The way that we have started the last three games has helped us.
"The start on Saturday was unbelievable, the tempo from the front two helps everyone. You chase down lost causes and the tempo when we had the ball was fantastic and I think that sets you up for the whole game.
"We did that against Inverness as well. An early goal always helps but it`s not always the case. We just have to start the game well and hopefully push on and try to take the three points that would keep us up there."