Cureton tells fans good times are coming
CHRIS LAKEY Jamie Cureton, almost inevitably, instigated the Canaries' downfall at Layer Road - but sent out a message of hope for the travelling fans.
Jamie Cureton, almost inevitably, instigated the Canaries' downfall at Layer Road - but sent out a message of hope for the travelling fans.
While the Canaries have struggled to make any sort of mark on the Championship, the player who began his career at Carrow Road has hit a rich vein of form for a Colchester team that wears the title Pride of Anglia with some comfort.
However, Cureton believes the good times aren't far away for the City fans who gave him a warm reception when he stepped on to the field - and when he left it near the end.
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“I think they will turn it around in the summer and bring in the people they want to bring in,” said Cureton. “They are going to be one of the favourites again I am sure and given time I hope to see the club in the Premiership again. I am sure they can achieve that, they are that sort of club and have great fans and obviously have backers in there prepared to spend money.
“I just think they need a settled team and they will be up there.
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“They have had a tough season with a change of manager and players chopping and changing, and obviously I think they miss (Robert) Earnshaw. If you have someone up front who can get you goals out of nothing it changes games and I think they have missed him.
“The approach play is not bad, it's just in the final third, but they will be back and I am sure they will be one of the favourites to go up next season because it is that sort of club. I am sure Peter will get the players in he wants and the club will be buzzing for the start of next season because obviously it has not gone well as they would have liked this year.”
Cureton has faced City twice this season, and scored both times, Saturday's effort setting the ball rolling for a 3-0 win, but it didn't stop the travelling City fans from showing their admiration for a player who has always admitted he didn't make the most of his chance at Carrow Road back in the early 90s.
“These matches are big occasions for me,” said Cureton who, as he did when he played at Carrow Road in October, refused to celebrate his goal. “I spent the early part of my career at the club and I really enjoyed it and every time I come up against them it is a massive lift for me and I try to do the best that I can - and both times they have gone very well.
“It means a lot that the fans give me a good reception whenever I have come up against them. I left without saying goodbye and it is nice to get that. A former club has shown me some respect and I try to show it back.”
While City are close to his heart, it's Colchester who pay his wages and it was another job well done on Saturday by a team many expected to head straight back down to League One.
“I think we played well,” said Cureton. “We haven't played well at home for a while but I think we played well and I think Norwich just seemed to make a lot of mistakes to be honest, so it was a bit surprising. We were getting chances in the second half and you don't expect that against a side like Norwich. We just tried to exploit that and I think once we got the first goal we were in control then.”
Cureton's opener was his 17th league goal of the season in a career which had gone askew in recent years, with unproductive spells in South Korea and at QPR and Swindon.
“I have had couple of years drifting a bit and once I got the chance to come here I got my head down in the summer and said, 'right, it's going to be a big year for me, let's give it all I have got', and from the start it has gone very well, and obviously coincided with the team doing well,” he said.
“As a club we didn't expect to be where we are and beating the likes of Norwich 3-0, but as the season has gone on we have deserved these results because we have worked very hard and we have got some very good players here.
“A lot of clubs that come here have big stadiums, they are big clubs with big players, they are not probably used to coming somewhere like this. We have always said this is where we could pick up points and keep us in the league and it has proved that. We get at teams, try and put them out of their stride and I think as we get on top of teams here a lot of them think, 'let's get on the bus'. We just try and use it to our advantage.”