Dundee United new boy Trevor Carson says signing a two-year deal at Tannadice is a “lifeline”.
The last few years of the goalkeeper’s career have been plagued by injuries – with ankle and knee problems as well as a diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis in his shoulder and lung – seeing him in and out of the Motherwell team.
Coupled with family commitments in Newcastle, Carson has been juggling a lot since moving to Scotland in 2017.
The former Sunderland and Hartlepool United stopper is feeling fit now, though, and ready to take his chance at United.
The 33-year-old knows staying in Scottish football to battle it out with Benjamin Siegrist for the gloves is a huge commitment but one he feels he has to take.
United a ‘lifeline’ for Carson
“It is but I am not getting any younger,” Carson said.
“I am 33 and, hopefully, still have plenty of years ahead of me.
“It has got to the point where it has given me a bit of a scare not playing for so long and getting the injuries.
“You do start to think and getting a two-year contract is like a lifeline for me at a club like Dundee United.
“I would be stupid not to make the most of it.
“You can’t be living your life at 80% and expect to be getting it all playing at a club like this and internationally.
“I was being a professional for 80% of the time and now I am going to put 100% into it.”
Delving deeper into why he’s not been able to put everything into his career of late, Carson lifted the lid on home life south of the border.
The Northern Ireland international also revealed he’s moving to the Dundee area to combat any distractions from football.
He continued: “I have maybe been guilty of not doing the right thing off the pitch.
“On a Friday, I would travel down to get my daughter from Newcastle.
“It was something I decided to do when I moved to Motherwell.
“I am a family man first and foremost and I couldn’t let that go. That is maybe why and it has gone against me.
“Maybe, with hindsight, I would have focused on the football more but, for me, collecting my daughter was something I had to do to make that relationship work with her.
“It probably didn’t help that the first year I was doing it things went really well and I was linked with Celtic.
“I thought it wasn’t harming me but then there was the knee injury.
“They probably weren’t related to the drive but it is one of the things I’m not doing up here, I am going to move to the area.
“My partner is moving back to Newcastle because she is starting a new job. Monday to Friday I am going to be focused on training and then after a game on a Saturday I will go down the road for a couple of days and be a dad again.
“It gives me time to work hard and stay in the gym longer. You make your own luck and, hopefully, it will change if I am doing all the right things.”
Benji ‘ticks every box’
Carson had options elsewhere, including a return to Hartlepool – a far handier location for seeing his daughter.
However, he insists as soon as United came in he was going nowhere else and is ready to fight it out with Siegrist for the No 1 jersey.
“I met with the Hartlepool manager but as soon as Dundee United came in with a two-year contract it was a no brainer for me,” he added.
“It wasn’t really a decision to make because it was a great opportunity to come to a club like this.
“I still know I have plenty to offer.
“Benji is here and I might have to be patient and, whether it is a month or six months, I just have to make sure I am training hard and ready for when the opportunity comes.
“When I first came in, I knew Benji had a great season last year.
“The highlights only show the great saves he made but training with him everyday he is impressive. He ticks every box.
“I don’t want to talk him up too much because he is my rival but he has been excellent.
“He is also a top lad and has made me as welcome as anyone.”