No substitute for a big man
Jonathan Redhead Jamie Cureton offered his praise to makeshift strike partner Darel Russell but insisted it is still “obvious” Norwich City need a target man. Substitute Russell came on to save a point for the Canaries on Saturday in their 1-1 draw with Blackpool at Carrow Road, with a close range header from a Wes Hoolahan corner in the 74th minute.
Jamie Cureton offered his praise to makeshift strike partner Darel Russell but insisted it is still “obvious” Norwich City need a target man.
Substitute Russell came on to save a point for the Canaries on Saturday in their 1-1 draw with Blackpool at Carrow Road, with a close range header from a Wes Hoolahan corner in the 74th minute.
It came after City's frontmen missed another hatful of chances, especially in the first half with Arturo Lupoli, Wes Hoolahan and even Cureton himself among the culprits.
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But although Cureton was impressed with the goalscoring contribution of midfielder Russell, he admitted he was well aware boss Glenn Roeder would be desperately trying to find a big striker before the transfer window closes on August 31.
“I think the gaffer's looking for someone with a presence,” said Cureton. “I think that's the problem - we haven't got the big man.
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“He doesn't have to be big, just literally someone who can put themselves about and win the headers ands cause problems and at the moment we haven't got that.
“I think the manager's still going to get someone in and it's quite obvious to see we do need that type.”
“The strikers we've got, we all prefer to play with a big man probably. Lupo's (Lupoli) is one of those who likes to play left and drifts a lot and I've always played with a target man so I think the gaffer knows that. He's trying his best but I think at the moment we keep our head down and have to do a job.”
Cureton insisted Russell can 'do a job' as a striker until a new man comes in, but suggested his teammate would prefer to play in his own position instead.
“I think he can do a job but it's not the job he wants to do. He's a central midfielder and he wants to play in centre midfield,” Cureton said.
“He's obviously trying his best up front to get himself in the team and he's done great. It's unusual for a midfielder to be given that role and he's taken it on and that's purely because he wants to be in the team.
“It's a credit to him that he's doing his best up there because it's not easy when you're used to a position you're whole career and then you're asked to do something totally different.
“There's pressure on us and everyone who's playing and he's taken it on and is scoring goals.”
Despite missing a very presentable chance in the first half when he hit the bar, then scuffing when he was clean through and seeing another effort saved late on, Cureton was still pleased with his performance, where he was often asked the perform the role of a target man.
“To be fair I felt I played well,” he said. “Obviously there was the one chance which I should have done better with. As I've touched it I've ended up running on top of the ball, the ball doesn't push in front of myself.
“But the other one either it hit a defender's foot or the keeper's tipped it on to the bar, but other than that I felt in general play I did alright. It's hard because we haven't got a big man and you're trying to lead the line, and run channels and I'm trying to do as much as I can and I felt today I had left everything, I didn't have anything else to give to be honest.
“That's what the gaffer asked for and in general play I was very pleased. Just a bit of luck again and if the goal goes in early on that's probably one of my best all-round performances, but it was not to be.”