Is Jamie the cure for City's woes?
Chris Lakey Jamie Cureton has finally returned to doing what he does best - scoring goals - but admits it may not be good enough to help him achieve his dream of banging them in for Norwich City.
Jamie Cureton has finally returned to doing what he does best - scoring goals - but admits it may not be good enough to help him achieve his dream of banging them in for Norwich City.
Cureton's much-vaunted return to his roots 18 months ago turned sour this season when a goal drought led to him being axed and then sent to Barnsley on loan.
But the 33-year-old's nine-month famine finally ended on Boxing Day - with another following two days later.
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With Leroy Lita's future still not decided, Arturo Lupoli out-of-favour and attracting interest from Italy and Carl Cort still short of match fitness, Cureton could be the answer - but will City boss Glenn Roeder pop the question and ask to recall him from his three-month spell in south Yorkshire?
“I don't know, I have signed for three months but now the first month is out of the way they have a 24-hour call-back,” said Cureton.
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“I have not spoken to the manager since I left, nothing has been said, so I will just keep my head down and prepare for Barnsley at the moment.”
Cureton was given just three starts this season, and the loan move has led to inevitable speculation that his days as a Norwich City player are numbered.
“I'm not sure - I have another year after this and I would love to do well for Norwich, that's why I came back,” he said.
“It all depends on the man in charge. If he feels I have got a future, brilliant. If I am given the opportunities to play, brilliant.
“If he doesn't then obviously he will let me know and I have a decision to make. I was never told I didn't have a future. I have just come out to get games, do well for myself and obviously for Barnsley and whatever happens after that I don't know.
“My focus was not to get away and leave, it was to get away and play and hopefully come back and do well, but they might feel they don't need me.
“I needed to go and play, which I have done - the aim was to go and do well and come back and do well for Norwich. At the moment my part is going fairly well.
“Whether or not they feel it is well enough and they want to use me and want me back is another matter. If they do, brilliant, if they keep me out on loan I obviously realise they don't and then when my loan finishes I come back and we discuss my future.”
Cureton has steadfastly maintained that regular starts would have helped him rediscover his goal-scoring form, but having been in the XI for the first three games of the season, he was relegated to the bench, at best.
“I have always been confident if I was given a run of games I would score goals and sometimes I felt at Norwich maybe I was given games and if things haven't gone well I'm dragged out of the team,” he said.
“I have only started three games for Norwich this season and in those the first two went well and the last one against Cardiff didn't and then I was left out straight away, which is fair enough, but then I wasn't given another opportunity to get back in.
“I think that's been the problem. I've come here and been given six games, whether I've played poorly here or given the ball away there, there has no pressure on me, it's been a case of, 'I know what you can do, so just go out and play'.
“Being given that sort of licence to go on and be relaxed and do my stuff is why I have got my goals. I haven't been looking over my shoulder wondering if I am going to come off every time I do something wrong. Maybe at Norwich, it's a bigger club, there's probably more pressure and sometimes the manager maybe makes decisions which are a bit too quick at times, where maybe sometimes you need to be left alone a bit and I don't think I've been given that chance really.
“I think if you're given that time any striker will score goals, but when you're looking over your shoulder you put more pressure on. Every time I played I thought that I had to score to stay in the side.
“Now it's just very pleasing to get back to doing my job. It has obviously been nice to be playing and I think my performances have got better with each game.
“I have always felt that once I got the first it would kick in - yes, it had gone too long and I wasn't very pleased with how I'd performed and the chances I'd missed. It was annoying and now I have the two goals, my confidence is at a higher level and I feel a lot better about myself.”