New Zealand v Ireland, New Plymouth, June 12
Carter not sweating form dip
June 10, 2010
Dan Carter issues instructions during the All Blacks training session in New Plymouth, New Zealand, June 8, 2010
Dan Carter is confident that he will soon regain top form © Getty Images

All Blacks playmaker Dan Carter has vowed to up his game when they take on Ireland in New Plymouth on Saturday.

The Crusaders fly-half endured an indifferent Super 14 campaign as they were eliminated at the semi-final stage but has blamed a short pre-season for his lack of sharpness.

"It's always tough not living up to your own expectations," he said. "But then you've got to put it in perspective, you can't be firing every game. It was pretty tough with the limited pre-season that we get. It is a long season so I'm confident I can turn things around from the patchy stuff at the start of the year.

"I'm really good. I'm nice and confident. Obviously it's been a bit mixed up until now but I've put that all behind me and I'm really excited. You have to lift another level when you put on the black jersey. I'm excited about the challenge and the first game of the year is always a lot of fun. We're up against some pretty tough opposition as well so you have to play pretty well."

Coach Graham Henry has not been overly concerned by Carter's dip in performance, insisting that it is only a matter of time until he returns to top form.

"He gives his best all the time and he'll come good; it might be Saturday or it might be Saturday week [against Wales]," he said. "He's a guy who will give you 100% and he's got very high personal standards. He will play some outstanding football like he's played in the past. You can't expect him to play at 100% all the time, he's going to drop sometimes because he's human."


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