JOSH Carson knows he cannot afford a drop in form despite signing a new contract extension at York City.
The former Ipswich Town winger has committed his future to the Minstermen until the summer of 2015 but, with the likes of Michael Coulson, on-loan signing Will Hayhurst and out-of-favour Estonian international Sander Puri all rivals for a starting place on the flanks, Carson is not complacent about his position in the team.
Despite signing for the club with the season a month old in September, Carson has started more League games than any other player this term aside from Ben Davies, Lanre Oyebanjo, Lewis Montrose and Wes Fletcher.
Commenting on his fight to stay in the side, however, Carson reasoned: “We are quite rammed with wingers at the club but I love the competition because it reminds you that you can’t ease up or stop performing. You try not to do that anyway, but it’s good to have players busting to get into the team.
“Hopefully, I can keep my wide-right role and cement it with my performances.”
Despite being stronger with his left foot, Carson is also more than happy to continue operating on the opposite wing, adding: “I don’t mind it.
“When I was younger, my dad always told me that I would need to use both feet. I’ve done a lot of work with that in mind and, hopefully, that shows in games because I feel I can go down the line or cut in and shoot or send over a cross.”
Having initially signed for City on loan from Portman Road in the midst of a relegation dogfight last March, Carson has been encouraged by the improvements made at the club this season.
He said: “A lot of progress has been made. When I first came in, the club were in a bit of a dip but we did really well at the end of last season.
“I broke my foot, so most of the credit has to go to the other players who were here at the time.
“The manager has added to the squad since then and has made some fantastic signings with the experienced lads and younger players.
“It’s a great football club and I really enjoy it here.”
Carson is currently enduring his longest barren run in front of goal during a season, with 15 matches having passed since he last netted.
He had kicked off his second spell at Bootham Crescent with three goals in his first ten outings and has a personal challenge he now wants to achieve in North Yorkshire.
“I would like to keep performing so I can play most of the games and get double figures in terms of goals during a season,” Carson said of his future ambitions.
“I’ve got three goals, which isn’t really good enough considering the amount of games I have played.
“When I first came here, I thought I could get into double figures and I got off to a good start but that’s sort of dried up a bit, so hopefully I can start hitting the net again.”
Carson would like to add to his four full international caps for Northern Ireland too during the next year and a half with the Minstermen, who he hopes will soon be challenging in the higher reaches of Sky Bet League Two.
“If I keep playing games, hopefully I will get my chance to play on the international stage and do well for my country,” the Ballymena-born flank man said.
“From the team’s point of view, I really want to push on and try to get into League One because I think we have the playing and management staff to achieve that.”
Carson is now preparing for the Minstermen’s longest away trip of the season – the 660-mile slog to Plymouth – but such journeys do not concern him.
“I’m a big sleeper so I will be looking to get a few hours under my belt, then maybe watch a DVD,” he explained.