Luke Joyce on last season and looking ahead
United midfielder Luke Joyce made 42 appearances in his first season back at Brunton Park, following his return from Accrington last summer, and he admitted that he feels that there is still more to come despite having established himself as a regular in the team.
“In my meeting with the gaffer at the end of the season he told me I'd had a good solid season,” he said. “If anything he told me that I need to have a little bit more confidence in myself and my ability to get on the ball and play forward.
“He basically wants me to play the forward pass, instead of taking the sideways option, and to have that confidence in my own abilities. The gaffer has got belief in me, I've got belief in myself, but it's just about getting that confidence out there on the pitch and expressing it.”
“I'm a bit disappointed to go through the season without scoring,” he commented. “I normally at least get one or two, but it just wasn't meant to be this season. If I'm contributing in other areas I'm happy with that, as long as the team is doing well.
“I think the gaffer has probably said the same to every player - we want to keep progressing. We want to do better than we have done this season, which ultimately means we want to at least have a place in the play-offs.
“On a personal level, I'd love to get a promotion with this club. I haven't got anything like that on my CV, there are no promotions or play-off wins, or anything like that, so I'd love to do it.
“It would be great if we could do it next season. When I was here previously, and we won League Two, the scenes were unbelievable. The club as a whole was a great place to be and I'd love to see and be part of that again.”
With at least one more season to go with United, as he heads into the second year of his two-year deal, he said: “It's good to be going into the summer knowing I've got another year on my contract, especially with my wife and two kids at home.
“At the same time, I know I've got to get my head down and work hard. I'll make sure I come back for pre-season as fit as I can be. I want to make sure I'm in the team week in, week out and I want to do enough to earn another contract beyond next season.”
“I'm looking forward to the summer. It’ll be great to get home but I'm not sure how much of a break I'll get with two babies! We've got a couple of little holidays booked and we're actually coming back up to Penrith, to Centre Parcs, so I won't be too far away. I'm really looking forward to that time away and getting a bit of a rest.
“Fitness wise I think I've got to keep ticking over. I'll give myself a week to ten days off because I don't really like sitting around and doing nothing. I'll have a week off and play with the kids, but then I'll start getting back in the gym before I start doing the cardio stuff a bit later.”
He also admitted that he’ll be taking just as much interest as anyone else in the comings and goings at Brunton Park through the summer months.
“We'll all be looking on the official website and BBC Sport to see who we've signed,” he confirmed. “You've got to see if anyone is due in and what the news is. It’ll be interesting to see what develops because I think there’ll be some really good additions to the squad.
“We'll all have to earn our shirts. Everyone will come back wanting to make a good impression and I'm sure there’ll be a lot of competition for places. Every player in the dressing room will want to play and I think it's going to be a tough team to get into next season.”
And on the play-off aspirations of his old club Accrington, he said: “I sent a couple of the people down at Accrington texts on the final day of the season but it's one of those situations where you don't really want to ring them.
“It was a real shame for them because I really thought they would do it. I think the final game was the only home league game they haven't scored in. It's unfortunate for them but it's now a chance to go to Wembley.
“I might think about going down and seeing it if they do get there. I haven't been to Wembley so it would be a chance to see a game there. I did think about going to the home play-off leg but that's actually when I'm at Centre Parcs, so I won't be able to make it.
“I'll definitely keep an eye on it and keep my fingers crossed for them - although it would be nice to play against them next season!”
for part two of this interview.
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