Cureton marks his return in fine style
Chris Lakey Jamie Cureton is beginning to write his own scripts. A relative failure first time round at Norwich when youthful promise failed to materialise; a return more than a decade later marked by four goals in his first two games back - and then another fall from grace as he found himself unwanted and farmed out to Barnsley.
Jamie Cureton is beginning to write his own scripts.
A relative failure first time round at Norwich when youthful promise failed to materialise; a return more than a decade later marked by four goals in his first two games back - and then another fall from grace as he found himself unwanted and farmed out to Barnsley.
The latest chapter was his dramatic return in the wake of Glenn Roeder's departure on Wednesday - and what was perhaps an inevitable goal, even considering his long drought in yellow and green, against Barnsley on Saturday.
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And all because of one, simple phone call from former team-mate and Saturday's caretaker manager, Bryan Gunn.
“He rang me when he was given the job and knew he was going to be in charge,” said 33-year-old Cureton, who has now bagged more than 200 career goals.
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“He said he wanted me back, he believed in me and there was a good chance of me being involved and playing and he wanted me to be a part of the team and that's all I have needed to hear, that I'm wanted and people want me around the place and people want me to play for Norwich.
“And that was it. He told me that the moment he was given the job, which was late on Wednesday - it is the simplest thing to do but it has probably given me the biggest boost I have had all season.
“It's a simple thing, but when you're told they believe in you that's all you need.
“It was then down to me to go out and prove him right - hopefully I've done that.”
Cureton's goal was greeted with delight from his Carrow Road fans - and wasn't lost on the team's elder statesmen.
“It was brilliant,” he said.
““They know me obviously very well and they know I love the place and I have got a good relationship with the fans, even when things haven't gone well for me.
“They know I want to do well and that I try. I accept criticism, it's not a problem if I am not doing well. I think they know that.
“We have got a bond, we've had it since I was here before.
“It was nice to be back and it was great to have them on my side again chanting my name, and it was nice to give them something back because obviously this year hasn't been great for me in a Norwich shirt.”
Cureton's last goal in yellow had been against another former side, Colchester United - back in March last year when he bagged three in a 5-1 victory at Carrow Road.
“It's massive for me, not just because it's first of the season for City, but because of the circumstances, everything - we needed a win, and I probably needed a goal, and it was a real big thing, a vital one as well,” he said.
“It made it 2-0 and that killed the game.
“I said I wasn't going to celebrate, but it was quite hard not to considering it was my first goal of the season.
“I didn't want to miss out on celebrating but it was lucky it was at the other end because I didn't want to upset anyone from Barnsley too much.
“I wasn't major in the game but that's me at times. I felt fine and I felt that if the chance would come I would take it and luckily it did.
“Mooro (Darren Moore) left it and felt the keeper was closer and he wasn't and I managed to lift it over him.
“It sort of sums me up, that's what I'm about - probably when I'm not involved I'm at my most dangerous.
“And it was nice to know Gunny was there and believed in me and left me on.
“Even some of the boys said maybe earlier on in the season if I'd gone that long I probably wouldn't have been on the pitch.
“It was nice to be left on there. Gunny knows what I'm about and I think he knows I'm one of those players who isn't always involved, but if I get chances I normally take them.
“Today I felt confident and I've taken them. I'm pleased definitely.”