Striker Jamie Cureton admits he cannot afford another wasted season - and could be forced to leave Norwich City unless he is playing first team football.

Striker Jamie Cureton admits he cannot afford another wasted season - and could be forced to leave Norwich City unless he is playing first team football.

Cureton, who will be 34 in August, did not appear in the final 11 matches of last season as the Canaries were relegated from the Championship.

He was dropped by manager Bryan Gunn after making his 100th appearance for the club in the 2-1 home defeat by Coventry in February, and only re-surfaced on the substitutes' bench for the final two games against Reading and Charlton, without being used.

Cureton, in his second spell with City, has a year remaining on his current deal.

He has yet to discuss his position in the pecking order with Gunn, but insists he is ready to commit himself to the cause as one of the squad's most experienced campaigners in League One.

He has more than 130 League One goals on his CV, but that could count for nothing if Gunn puts him in the queue behind Cody McDonald, the returning Chris Martin - and any other new strikers.

If that's the case, Cureton may be knocking on Gunn's door.

“I'm at an age now where I want to play as much as possible,” said Cureton. “It's not like I'm 21 and with my whole career ahead of me.

“I'm in the last year of my contract and the last thing I need is to have a season like I did last year and then suddenly be out of contract. That's no good to me. I would love to be playing every week, scoring goals and earning another contract here, but if that's not the case I have to worry about my future.

“I still feel I have a lot of good years in me and I don't want to hinder that by having another season where I don't play and I don't get the goals because then if I don't stay at Norwich, after that my options are limited because I've had two seasons that haven't been great.

“I need this year to be a real big year and hopefully that will be for Norwich. But I don't know- since I came back it's been two up and down years and I don't want another.”

Cureton believes his troubles began when Peter Grant left the club, in October, 2007, just a little over three months after signing him.

“A lot of the loan players have gone back and there's just me, Cody McDonald and Chris Martin, but I'm sure the gaffer will bring in a forward or two,” said Cureton.

“Sometimes it works out that a manager uses the people he brought in - it's what happened after Grant left. He bought me and he was always going to use me, but after that the other managers don't need to justify you being at the club.

“My biggest problem came when Peter Grant left - he pursued me and brought me here. But the person who got me here left and after that it has been up and down.”

However, Cureton insists it the yellow and green shirt of City he wants to wear next season.

“Definitely - but at the same time I just want to play football as well,” he said.

“I started 10 games for the club, which is no good to me and probably no good to the club either. I'm used to playing 40 games plus, and starting most of them.

“I can't have a season like that again. I have spoken to the manager but we spoke when he didn't even know he had the job. There was nothing concrete said then. I was told he'd done an article saying that I was in his plans, which is fine, but I'm sure once we get back I will express to him my feelings and he will let me know his.

“I am sure he is looking to bring others in, forwards, and if I am down the pecking order again and not involved then I'm starting to look at my future.”

Gunn said earlier this month: “Jamie's under contract and I know he's keen to come back and impress in pre-season training.”