I'll put nail in U's coffin - Cureton
Michael Bailey Norwich City striker Jamie Cureton would have no qualms putting another nail in Colchester's Coca-Cola Championship coffin during this afternoon's crunch relegation battle (3pm).
Norwich City striker Jamie Cureton would have no qualms putting another nail in Colchester's Coca-Cola Championship coffin during this afternoon's crunch relegation battle (3pm).
With the Canaries only three points off the Championship drop zone and playing the team routed to the foot of the table, nothing less than a win will do to help relieve the relegation nerves that have reappeared for City fans in recent weeks.
Having left Colchester in the summer to rejoin Norwich, and slamming the Essex side for a lack of ambition, Cureton does not want to be the man who sends his formed club back to League One.
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But there will be no room for sentiment from the 32-year-old should he get the chance to stick the knife into his former club and at the same time take Norwich a step closer to their own safety.
“I've had a little think about it this week; I mean, I wouldn't be pleased. I want to beat them, definitely, but I'd hate it to be that sort of game which sends them down, which it won't,” said Cureton.
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“It's important for us to get the win and then after that I wish them all the best and hope they can get out of it. But tomorrow, there's no loyalty from me. We need three points and if it happens to be another nail in their coffin, then I can't really do a lot about that.”
A win for Norwich could put some points - and perhaps more importantly a few more teams - between the Canaries and the Championship's bottom three clubs. Defeat for City's near neighbours would leave them needing a football miracle to avoid relegation - they would be 17 points off the accepted 50-point mark needed for safety with only six games remaining.
“I think for them to stay alive, they have to come and beat us, and for us to get back out of trouble, we have to beat them,” said Cureton. “It's a big, big weekend and I think if we beat them, they're in a lot of trouble definitely, and obviously they're looking that if they beat us, they drag us even closer to them.”
“I think we definitely thought we wouldn't be dragged back into it. We need to pick it up and if we can get a win that would be a massive boost for us. The last thing you want to do is go into the last few games needing wins and relying on other people.”Cureton keeps in touch with his former team-mates at Layer Road and knows that, for them, today's game could be their last hope for survival.
“I still talk to the boys all the time and there has been a bit of banter this week,” he added. “They'll keep going to the end. They're a bit down but they still feel they've got a chance. But I think they look at it that maybe another loss this weekend could spell the end, because there are not many games left.”
“Maybe they didn't do the right things at the end of last year by keeping the squad together and it just shows you that, if you don't do stuff like that and you try and do things on a budget at this level, I don't think you can do it. You can't lose four or five players from the staring eleven and expect to be the same sort of force the next season. I think they've learned their lesson and I don't think they'll do it again.”
Although Cureton has hit 11 goals this season, he has new competition for a starting place from City's latest loan recruit, striker Maceo Rigters, who Glenn Roeder confirmed will be involved in the match.
“There are four of us now and two places, so as long as I get one of them, I'll be happy,” added Cureton. “All four of us want to play, so it's down to the manager who he picks and if he picks you, you've got to try and stay in the team.”