Luke Joyce on 300 starts and lessons learned
In the second part of our look back at the season with midfielder Luke Joyce he spoke more about his own form and about reaching the amazing milestone of 300 career starts.
“It was brilliant to get to that,” he admitted. “I was chuffed to bits when I was told. Playing football is all I ever dreamed of when I was young, so to make 300 starts is something I'm really proud of. Hopefully I'll be able to go on and make another 300.
“There are no guarantees of that though. Football just isn’t like that. The manager will bring players in who will add competition, so no one will be guaranteed a place in the team. We've got a lot of good players here and there are players who can play in different positions.
“We've got a lot of competition for each position so you know when you're training you have to be at your best and perform every day to make sure you get that shirt on a Saturday.”
“Personally I think I've put some decent performances in but I don't think I've done it consistently enough,” he commented. “From the start of the season until Christmas I was quite happy with how I was playing. The team was doing well and we were fifth in the table at one point.
“Since we reached that height we let ourselves down a little bit and we didn’t win enough games. Having said that I think it's been a good, solid season. We've progressed from last year and I think the aim now over the summer is to have a rest, recharge, and watch and wait while the gaffer and his staff bring in players who will make us stronger.
“There will be a competition for places again next season but we'll all be looking to have a good go at it. We ended up tenth, eight points off the play-offs, and we all know we can look back at a few games and start to think about where we slipped up.
“As you do that you start to count up the points and it gets you thinking about where we could have been, especially after the performance we put in against Notts County at Deepdale.”
But having come so close, he insisted that it stands the squad in good stead as we look to go one step further next time round.
“I think we'll all learn a lot from this season,” he told us. “There are games where we've been one goal up and we know how important it is to keep those three points and not concede in the last minute.
“Those two points could be the difference come the end of the season, so I think we've learned lessons that way. We can be proud of some of the results we've picked up and we can build on them for next year.
“We've tried to play good football and play out from the back this season, with the centre halves and myself trying to drop deep and get on the ball and get us playing. That's the type of football I want to play, and hopefully it's the type of football the fans want to see. We thoroughly enjoy playing it and I think we've had quite a bit of success from it.
“It’s something we can work on during pre-season and hopefully we'll end up playing even better football. A lot of players maybe haven't played that style of football before, so they've got to learn how to do it and what the gaffer wants.
“I think we've done that over the season. It's a great way to play and it's been really enjoyable. We want to build on it, play better football and hopefully finish higher up the table.”
For part one of this interview, click HERE
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