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INTERVIEW: A lot of healthy competition

24 December 2015

Luke Joyce looks ahead to the Accrington game

Midfielder Luke Joyce spoke to us ahead of the Accrington Stanley game on Boxing Day which, if selected, will be his 50th appearance for the club.

"You have to get used to the Christmas schedule," he said. "We've got a game on Boxing Day and we would usually have another a couple of days later. You have to take it easy with the Christmas dinner but we'll enjoy it as much as everybody else. If I'm with my family on Christmas day then I'm more than happy.

"We're fortunate enough to be footballers and to be doing a job that we love every day. It's all we wanted to do growing up so it isn't much of a sacrifice really. We're used to it and whoever you play on Boxing Day it's always a great game and one you look forward to." 

Speaking about the slight strain which kept him out of last weekend's Notts County game, he said: "I trained yesterday [Tuesday] and had no reaction. Hopefully it's all healed and I'm available if selected on Boxing Day.

"It's never nice to be watching a game, especially when the lads are doing so well. It would have been nice to be involved at a stadium like Deepdale but the lads put in a great performance and it was another fantastic three points.

"The lads did well so I know I'll have to work hard to get back into the team. We kept a clean sheet and won 3-0, so all I can do is make myself available for selection and see what the manager decides."

"I'm really enjoying playing in a team with so much confidence," he said. "Everyone in the squad has been used, so it hasn't just been the same 11 starting every week. We've got a very good squad with a lot of healthy competition. Everyone is desperate to be involved on Boxing Day.

"People are calling us the entertainers and we are scoring goals. We've been involved in a lot of high scoring games and we'd like to keep clean sheets, like we did on Saturday, and carry on scoring two or three goals a game.

"I did say I wanted to add goals to my game but as long as we're winning and playing well I'm happy. Whether I'm assisting, or breaking up play and giving it to players who can go and create stuff, I'm happy as long as I'm involved in a winning team." 

And looking ahead to his return to Accrington, he said: "I really enjoyed my time there. I was with them for six years, and captain for the last three, so I've got a lot of fond memories. I've got a lot of friends there so it's a game I'm really looking to.

"It will be strange going back because I've only really ever played there for Accrington. It will be a strange occasion but when the fixtures came out it was the one I looked for first. I couldn't think of a better game to play on Boxing Day.

"They've done really well this season and I'm not surprised at all. John Coleman wants to play good football, he gets young hungry lads who have been released from other clubs and gives them a chance.

"It's a place where young players can go and get a lot of games under their belt. They've got players with ability and it will be a really tough game."

"Having said all that, it definitely feels like I made the right move to come to Carlisle," he told us. "It will be nice to go there when we're a place above them in the table, even though they have got two games in hand.

"It's a decision I don't regret and it's one that I've been happy with since the first day I came to Carlisle. I'm delighted to be here and I'm really enjoying being part of the club."

"When people are looking at the table and seeing our results it does become a bit of a scalp to beat us at the moment," he admitted. "Teams might lift their game by 5-10% but I think we're still going under the radar a little bit.

"We're in fifth place, we're six points off the top of the league and I think the next two games could be massive. We play Accrington and Plymouth and we can go into the New Year in a really good position if we get the right results."

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