MATCHWINNER Joe Cardle admits that he can’t wait for the chance to put Dunfermline’s Arab hoodoo behind them this weekend.

The 30-year-old’s sumptuous strike into the top corner was enough to give the Pars the edge over Dumbarton on Saturday and rack up a third win on the bounce for Allan Johnston’s team.

After a ragged run of one success in 10 league games, victories over Brechin City, Falkirk and the Sons have bolstered confidence and moved Athletic up to third in the table.

They’re ready to lock horns with a Dundee United side on Saturday smarting from a 6-1 thrashing at the second-bottom Bairns, and who are seven points above the Pars.

Cardle and his team-mates haven’t beaten the Tangerines since returning to the Championship but a win this weekend – followed by another against leaders St Mirren 13 days later – would give their promotion ambitions a shot in the arm.

He’s desperate to the end their dismal record against the Taysiders and said after Saturday’s win: “In the last couple of years they have always had one over us and we desperately need to change that.

“They lost on Saturday so they will be up for it. We are looking forward to it, especially getting them at home on a good pitch.

“We played well last week on a good surface so I am looking forward to it already. I know that it is a week away but I’m excited for the big game ahead.

“We played Falkirk on Tuesday and it felt like they were down and out going by the way they went. Every credit to them coming back but it just shows you what the league is like.

"It is a funny old League and there are funny results all over the place. As long as we keep winning I am happy.”

Cardle’s decisive strike was his 10th of the campaign and continued: “It is something I do quite a lot, cut inside - I do it most days in training. It has been a while since I scored a goal and I have been desperate for the last few weeks because I have had plenty of chances but they have not gone in.

"I am just delighted that it went in, the three points were massive and we left Dumbarton third in the table. It was a scrappy game in the second half to be honest, we knew it was going to be a tough game but I am delighted at getting the win with one and only goal in the game.

"We know ourselves that we went on a run where it wasn`t good enough. We weren`t picking up enough points but to get three wins in the last three is good. Hopefully it is a start and now we can keep on winning and get ourselves back up at the top where we want to be and where we were at the start of the season."