Joe Cardle in Dreamland at DunfermlineSaturday, 9th Sep 2017
Super Joe picks up first ever Ladbrokes Championship Player of the Month Award
Joe Cardle lifted the Ladbrokes Championship Player of the Month for August and he was very pleased with the award.
"It is the first of my career. What a difference in six months, it is unbelievable but that`s just the highs and lows of football. I am enjoying it so much this season.
"Being in training everyday, being in with the lads, playing games and scoring goals, it is going really well just now. It is now about maintaining that level throughout the season.
"My confidence is massive right now and obviously I am thriving on that. It can`t get any higher when you are making and scoring goals every week. It is fantastic, every day life is amazing. I need to maintain that level and picking up points every week is the goal."
Joe has plenty of reasons to be delighted with his lot. As well as picking up the Player of the Month Award he is the club`s leading scorer having found the net eight times already this season and he exuded happiness as he spoke. He did concede that when he is not playing he is a miserable sort.
"Last season even though I was still coming in and still training as hard as I could and I was working as hard as I could, I was professional but it was hard training all week knowing that you are not preparing for a game.
"I am relishing it at the moment and not taking it for granted. I am working hard to maintain that level knowing that I am going to be in the gaffer`s starting eleven come Saturday."
Joe came back for the new season fit and strong, desperate to impress.
"I think the gaffer noticed. My fitness levels are probably the highest that they have ever been. Body fat was right down and I think he took note and realised how hard I had worked over the summer and it is definitely starting to pay off."
All this happened in what Joe termed a `whirlwind` few months following the premature birth of his second daughter.
"It has all happened but 99% of the days during the summer I trained. Even on holiday when we were away in Portugal for ten days. I trained every day on holiday. In the back of my mind I wanted to make sure that when I came back for pre season that I was the fittest and strongest there.
"It worked for me. The manager and management staff took note of that and still say to this day that the way I came back from last season is just unbelievable. It just shows my state of mind and professionalism. Obviously I was still working hard last season but I wanted to set myself tough standards."
While the new baby was in hospital, Joe lived there for three weeks with his partner, Lucy. It was hardly the best preparation for professional football.
"I was staying in a wee tiny bed, getting up, seeing the baby and going to training. Then I would go back to hospital. It was only two weeks later when we got home and sat down that we realised what actually happened. At the time you just get on with it and don`t notice what is going on. You are living in a dream land.
"The last three months have been pretty full on. We are settled in the house now and the baby is into a routine and putting on weight. She is fantastic."
The match against Morton on Saturday is just something else that Joe hopes to take in his stride.
"We are all looking forward to it, everyone wants to be playing now. Everyone is coming in and doing well. Even in that game on Saturday (v Buckie) everyone wanted to be in that starting eleven, especially the strike force and they all seem to be scoring goals. It makes it tough for the gaffer to make his decisions on a Saturday."
The standard in training this week has been exceptional revealed Joe "some of the best that I have been involved in." He stressed that the team just needs to keep the wins coming:-
"When you are winning week in week out, it is a great feeling. When you are top of the league, it is a fantastic feeling. Everyone is on a high right now and it is a great place to be."
Due to the international weekend the Pars have enjoyed top spot since finding themselves there following the 4-0 win at Dumbarton.
"We want to keep it going now that the results worked in our favour. We want to keep picking up these three points, that is what we want to do. The way that we have been starting games has been fantastic."
The Pars have scored within seven minutes in their last three games. They have scored 31 goals, hit the net in nine of their eleven matches and before the ten minute mark on five occasions. Joe felt that the early goals have been a big factor in the successful results.
"The work ethic and scoring so early in games is definitely helping us. It has happened in the last three or four games. If we get an early goal we seem to get three or four.
"I don`t think that there is anything stopping us. We don`t want to go into games over confident but we are in a good place now and fully confident going into these games."