Cureton tips PG for the top

PUBLISHED: 14:54 25 March 2007 | UPDATED: 10:10 14 September 2010

Former Norwich City strike Jamie Cureton has backed Peter Grant to lead the Canaries back to the Premiership. The Colchester United front man is surprised City have struggled in the Championship this season but believes the Norwich boss has the coaching credentials to lead a promotion charge next campaign.

Former Norwich City strike Jamie Cureton has backed Peter Grant to lead the Canaries back to the Premiership.

The Colchester United front man is surprised City have struggled in the Championship this season but believes the Norwich boss has the coaching credentials to lead a promotion charge next campaign.

“He's clearly a very good coach from what he did with West Ham with Alan Pardew and I've heard that he's excellent at motivating his players.

“It's always difficult for a manager taking over in the middle of a season but I'm sure that once he's settled that he can take them up.”

Cureton thinks Norwich have shown in recent weeks that they should be battling for a place in the play-offs this season along with his Colchester side after impressive performances against the Championship frontrunners.

“They are one of the teams that I expected to be up there,” he said. “As you've seen from their results recently they are always a team capable of beating anyone.

“It seems that their lack of consistency has been what has let them down. When you're playing against them then you've always got to be wary as they have got some quality players.

“I'm sure they will be up there next season, they will certainly be among the top five or six teams in the division.

“Obviously pressure comes with that and that's what often makes it a lot more difficult.”

Cureton has led a play-off assault himself this season with Colchester as he has plundered 16 goals to take them within striking distance of the top six. The 31-year-old has been in the form of his life and is hoping to take his goalscoring exploits into next weekend's Championship clash with the Canaries.

“It's gone very well for me this season. I've had a couple of years where it's been a bit indifferent but all seems to have come right for me this season.”

“It's certainly the best football I've played in a long time - perhaps even the best of my career.

“There's an opportunity for us to get in the top six but we have got to rely on a few teams in front of us slipping up. It could be a little bit out of our reach but we'll keep going right until the end.”

Three points against the Canaries is a must for Colchester to make themselves genuine promotion contenders but Cureton knows it will not be easy and picked out City's man-of-the-moment Darren Huckerby as the player the U's will have to keep a close eye on if they are to secure the three points that would boost their play-off hopes.

“Huckerby always stands out. He's got such great ability and sometimes he's just unplayable. Some of the goals he's scored in recent weeks have been brilliant and we will certainly have to watch out for him.

“I would have said Earnshaw but of course he's injured and they've missed him a lot this season. He's a natural goalscorer and any team would miss him.

“I was very impressed with Dublin when we played Norwich earlier in the season and I've heard a lot of good things about Chris Martin. It'll certainly be a tough match for us.”

Cureton has formed a lethal partnership with Chris Iwelumo and the former Reading and Bristol Rovers man admitted they formed an instant understanding the moment they stepped out on the pitch together.

“It's a big guy, little guy partnership but it clicked right from the start for the two of us.

“It's not as if one has had to play second fiddle to the other - both of us have got our fair share of goals.”

Cureton's form has inevitably led to speculation surrounding his future at Layer Road with a number of Championship clubs said to be interested in securing his signature.

But he insists that he is more than happy to stay in Essex and has no plans to leave.

“I've still got another year on my contract. People keep linking me with other clubs but I'm happy at Colchester and until I hear any different I will be staying here.

“I will go away over the summer and have a nice break and then concentrate on trying to repeat the success that I've had this season.”

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