Dunfermline Athletic

Joe warns of the danger of the Lions

Friday, 4th Aug 2017

"The `bread and butter` stuff starts on Saturday and we are just looking forward to getting into these games.

The trip to Livingston on Saturday brings back dark memories for Pars favourite Joe Cardle. It was at Livingston on 30th March 2013 that the full effects of the club going into administration became a reality.

By the time Josh Falkingham led Dunfermline out, seven players who had started the previous Saturday against Dumbarton had left the club and in the circumstances, it was a great achievement that Jim Jefferies` young side took a point away from West Lothian.

Joe Cardle was one of eight first team who were made redundant on 28th March 2013 and left seeking a club with only days to beat the registration deadline. He recalled those gloomy days with the media this week:-

"My head was all over the place at the time. I didn`t play on the Wednesday night against Falkirk and then we got told on the Thursday. It was probably the worst day of being a football player. It doesn`t get any darker really.

"It is so different now but I remember that weekend in particular, we had until the Sunday to find a club. If we didn`t get a club by the Sunday that was us, you couldn`t get a team until the next season.

"I was just running around speaking to so many managers and my wife Lucy was pregnant at the time with Josie. I just wanted to stay in our house and didn`t really want to travel. I joined Raith Rovers until the end of the season and ended up staying for the next season. I enjoyed my time there but everything works out in the end."

Not having been paid for three or four months Joe reluctantly accepted the move to Dunfermline`s greatest rivals as the Pars took on Livi:-

"When I think about it now, I don`t know how I existed without any income at all. When you have just bought a house it is pretty scary."

Joe`s thoughts were with his team mates at Livi and he recalls seeing the emotion in the pictures after Stephen Husband had equalised from the penalty spot in the second minute of added time.

"I just remember the players going towards the fans that day. That is what the club is all about. Look at the support that we took to Tynecastle on Saturday. It was incredible, days like that you will remember for the rest of your life. That was a special day on Saturday and hopefully there will be a few more.

"I know that it was a draw at the end of the day but to do it in the way that way did it, on live telly as well was very special.

"The `bread and butter` stuff starts on Saturday and we are just looking forward to getting into these games. We have a good strong team here and have just signed Fraser Aird.

"I think the gaffer will probably bring in another one or two but I like the way he has started young Callum Smith on Saturday was incredible. Not a lot of managers would have done that in that, to start a seventeen year old in that sort of game. He shone the boy and did really well.

"A good mix between young and experienced players seems to be working. So far so good but this is where we have to stick together and hopefully get three points in the opening league match."

Good though Saturday was, it was frustrating that Allan Johnston`s team were denied a famous victory with a late Hearts equaliser. Joe had been subbed by the time he watched what he felt was a `silly` goal and an even later chance that could have spoiled the day altogether.

"Walking towards the fans at the end was unbelievable. That is what you dream of doing."

Joe crucially scored an 28th minute equaliser after Hearts had gone into the lead. Many, especially those wearing maroon, would have thought that the significance of scoring the first goal would have created the opening for the Jambos to go on and secure the win necessary to win the group and no doubt prolong the tenure of their gaffer Ian Cathro. Joe believes that his goal was crucial given the pressure of the game:-

"I think I have scored better goals, it was a good goal don`t get me wrong, especially with my left foot!"

There was a goal against Albion Rovers that Joe divulged was a bit more special in his opinion. In October 2015 in a home match Joe won possession on the edge of the box on the right side and picked his spot in the left corner. He described it:-

"It was one of my favourite goals. I was back to goal, chested it, over the top and I just caught it on the volley to put it in the top corner. It is a goal that always sticks in my head."

On 15th August 2009 this website reported Joe`s first ever goal for Dunfermline:-

`The former Airdrie man accepted a Steven Bell pass and flighted in a wonder strike from the corner of the penalty box to bulge the right sidenetting. It may be his first goal since November last year but he won`t get any much better.`

He obviously he felt that Saturday`s goal was up there but he also rated that first Dunfermline goal against Morton.

Joe is enjoying the regular starts and he claims that makes a lot of difference. He has enjoyed a lot of the ball in games and he has scored three goals in the last two matches. He continued:-

"It makes a difference being out there every Saturday, playing and enjoying it again. It is tough when you are not playing. You keep a smile on your face, it is difficult but you are professional and just get on with it at the end of the day.

"I did that last season and I don`t want to do another season like that. I will keep working on the training pitch and hopefully it keeps coming off for me on a Saturday."

Livingston will have other ideas and will be keen to get off to a good start as they return to the second tier of Scottish football after one season in League One. Joe recalled a visit there in pre season last season:-

"The pitch is always good and hopefully that allows us to get the ball down and play like we have been doing. The majority of the time, if we play the way we can play, on the deck and passing it, we will create the kind of chances that we have been putting away recently.

"If we can do that and get the league off to a good start that is what we want to do."

Standing between that good start and the Pars is a Livingston team that Joe has noted contains dangerous players:-

"I know a few of their players and they are going to be a good team. They have boys who can play the ball and they are going to be high on confidence as well, having won their league last season and their group this season. We are expecting a tough game."

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