Targeting Saturday StartsSaturday, 15th Jul 2017
Joe Cardle:- ""Everybody wants to be in that starting eleven come Saturday"
Despite starting last season off well in the Betfred Cup, fans favourite Joe Cardle went on to start only 9 league games. Following 13 starts in the first 20 games, he was to line up in only two games in the next 25. Clearly that is something that the 30 year old wants to change in 2017-2018 and he revealed that he has been working hard to make sure that happens:-
"Everybody wants to be in that starting eleven come Saturday. I didn`t play as much as I wanted to last season. I just want to be on that pitch and I have come back to pre season probably the fittest that I have ever been.
"I trained all close season and stayed in the gym. When I came back to training I completed the yoyo first day. I feel good, I feel sharp it is just about getting that game time now. I was disappointed not to start against Hibs but I got 90 minutes against Raith."
Like everybody else connected to the club, Joe was disappointed with the 3-0 defeat at Starks Park in the Pars final pre season friendly and he felt that all the pre season games reflected that the team had not gelled as much as he would have liked to have seen it do.
"The quality has not been there, too many slack passes and our play has not been flowing."
This pre season is the first that Joe has experienced a disappointing kick off claiming that previous pre seasons have always seen him launch off flying.
"I don`t know what it is, I can`t put my finger on it, there is no one to blame. We have not picked up a win in any of the pre season games that we have played so we have to concentrate on Saturday, it is a must win game for us.
"We know ourselves that we did not turn up against Raith, we didn`t play our normal game, we didn`t pass the ball, didn`t get the ball out wide, didn`t get enough shots in or crosses into the box. We can only get better and that`s the way we have to look at it.
"I want to be on the pitch when it comes to a Saturday showing people what I can do. I know that I have still got it, hopefully the manager sticks with me."
Joe Cardle has so far hit the net 45 times for Dunfermline Athletic and he would dearly love to keep that going:-
"Most of my career I have been scoring and creating goals, that is my aim. I don`t think I have anything to prove, I have been pretty consistent my whole career. It happens sometimes in football when you are not in the team but you just have to remain positive. There are always ups and downs, nothing is plain sailing with football.
"The manager knows what I can do. I have played under the manager for two years now, he knows what I can do with the ball and seen me score goals and what else I can do. I don`t think I have a point to prove, we will wait and see what happens."
Joe fully accepts the responsibility as one of the more experienced players in the Athletic squad to bring on the younger ones helping and giving tips to them:-
"I do that every day on the training pitch with the young boys. We have a few good young boys coming through and it is all part and parcel for experienced boys to give tips. But it is up to the experienced boys to step forward."
Allan Johnston has mentioned that he is hoping to bring in new players and that is his prerogative but with the experience of over 200 appearances for the Pars, Joe feels that the players that selected to face Elgin City have all got to work together:-
"We have enough players out there to create a team so I don`t know what is wrong because in training the tempo has been good. When we have gone out into games it has just not happened. It could take a bit of time but the real stuff starts on Saturday and it has got to be right on the day."