Cureton finds Roeder a hard man to please

Chris Lakey Norwich City finally discovered their goal-scoring boots to demolish hapless Colchester - but Glenn Roeder refused to heap praise on hat-trick hero Jamie Cureton.

Chris Lakey

Norwich City finally discovered their goal-scoring boots to demolish hapless Colchester - but Glenn Roeder refused to heap praise on hat-trick hero Jamie Cureton.

The former Colchester hit-man, whose 23 goals for the U's last season helped him to the Championship's Golden Boot award, has been criticised by Roeder in recent games for squandering gilt-edged chances. And Roeder wasn't in the mood for a change of heart on Saturday.

"The Golden Boot winner from last season means nothing to me, and Jamie will accept me saying that," he said. "It's what he does next week and the week after that. I am sure it's looking very pretty on his shelf at home and I'm sure his wife looks forward to cleaning it every Monday morning, but for me personally it means nothing.

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"He is paid to score goals and that is what he was bought here for. He has scored the goals today, he has missed plenty recently and he has also scored some. He knows me well enough - I don't say, 'bad luck' when you miss an open goal. So he has come out and earned his wages this week, like they all have.

"That's his D's and R's - his dues and responsibilities to the team, to make goals for others and to score goals himself. He has got another ball to put on the shelf and a bit more work for his missus, dusting."

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The other goals came from right-back Jon Otsemobor and Dion Dublin, who had early come close to scoring a remarkable long-distance lob which beat goalkeeper Dean Gerken only to hit the crossbar.

"That was a stunning effort," said Roeder. "Dion is a player that has been there, done it, got the badge, of the highest quality. He knew what he was doing - to assess what he had to do to score, do it quickly, a controlled technique that was difficult - everyone bar the crossbar thought it was in."

Otsemobor's opener, after just six minutes was his first for City and only the fifth of his career.

"It will do him a lot of good," said Roeder. "I have been quite critical of Jon, he knows that inside the dressing room, but as I always say to the players, 'when you don't do well the time to worry is when I come in and say nothing, then you're history. While I am still positively criticising you to make you a better player you know I am still with you'.

"Jon at times hasn't done as well as he is capable of doing. I sometimes get frustrated with him because he has got a lot of attributes that go to make a very good footballer - power, pace, he passes the ball with the inside of his foot as hard and accurately as anyone I have seen, it's a real good technique he has got there, and today is without doubt his best performance since I have been at the club, his best 90 minutes.

"I thought he contributed, apart from the goal, lots of good things in our play and the goal was fantastic, you would have thought he was an old hand striker the way that he tucked that one in and I'm really pleased for him and he should go home and enjoy his weekend because of his personal performance today."

Roeder - who confirmed that Gary Doherty had been replaced by Alex Pearce at half-time as a precaution after complaining of a back injury - was happy with the early goal, but annoyed that after Cureton made it 2-0, Kevin Lisbie was able to pull one back for Colchester before half-time after a mistake by Jason Shackell.

"It was nice to score an early goal - we have often started well here and we haven't got the breakthrough," he said. "The big disappointment is that we conceded, yet again a weak goal. The culprit, if you want, is Shacks, who was dreadfully disappointed at half-time and I just pulled him to one side and said, 'look, Shacks, you are now going to tell me how good you are by how you play in the second half. Are you going to crumble or you are going to stand up to whatever they throw at you in the second half and play well after making a mistake like that? and I thought he had a flawless second half, he was very, very good."

Colchester now look doomed to relegation, but manager Geraint Williams is refusing to give up the fight, saying: "Until it is mathematically impossible for us to stay up, we won't accept anything," he said. "There are a lot of points to play for as well as our pride, and whenever the players cross that white line for Colchester there will be a job to be done."

"Seeing Jamie score three like that was no surprise, because if you give him chances like that he will stick them away. What we should have done was deny him the chances - but we couldn't do that."

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