Spanish reward for City hombres
Chris Lakey Jamie Cureton says Norwich City players have earned their reward of a training camp break in Spain this week - but insists it won't be sand, sea and sangria.
Jamie Cureton says Norwich City players have earned their reward of a training camp break in Spain this week - but insists it won't be sand, sea and sangria.
“The gaffer has pushed for it, but as much as it's a break we are still training, we're still gearing up to playing Blackpool next week,” said Cureton, who scored the only goal of the game against Barnsley on Saturday.
“I think it's just nice - a change of scenery, a bit of sun, a bit of bonding again with the lads and hopefully we will come back raring to go and try and take another three points against Blackpool.
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“The gaffer said because we'd done so well he was going to try and get us one. Obviously the run we've been on, to now be on 45 points and top half of the table - from where we were the boys have done tremendously well.
“People thought we were dead and buried and the club was low, the players were low and it's testament to the character of the boys that we've managed to turn things around and put us in the position we are in.”
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Cureton led City out on Saturday - the first time he has worn the captain's armband from the start during his 13-year, nine-club career. And that might just land him with a few other duties looking after the younger players in Spain until City head home on Wednesday.
“We have a little nursery along and I'm sure the older lot will be looking after them because they'll be running around not knowing what they're doing,” he laughed. “We will have to keep them in line.”
The armband received it's “Ian Wright” kiss after Cureton's excellent 26th-minute winner - and the 32-year-old was philosophical about the prospects of wearing it again.
“I said beforehand if I score I'll do my Ian Wright because I remember when he was captain once and scored he held his arm out,” said Cureton. “It was in my head, it was a real proud moment. To captain Norwich is a massive thing for me, and to score as well.
“If I am never captain ever again I have a 100pc record and if I get called upon again I will be more than delighted, it's areal big honour to captain the club.
“Either way I can't lose - I finish with a 100pc record or I captain the club again. I'm happy either way.”
It was a welcome turnaround in fortunes for Cureton who, three weeks ago today, was preparing to have his appendix removed - an operation which he believes may have had some welcome side effects.
“I was struggling with my right thigh and since I've had it out the pain has sort of gone,” he said.
“I was chatting to (physio) Neal Reynolds and it might have been connected, there might have been grumblings for a little while, so maybe by having it out it's cleared up. I feel really good and fresh so possibly, but I don't want to put it down solely to that.
“I feel good, I had a week of not doing anything and I have come back hungry for football. It's not been the ideal season for me and I wanted to really do well - I have 13 games to get back in and finish the season well.
“I have had a real good week, I have felt really sharp in training. I think the operation to some point has maybe helped me, given me a bit of time out to clear my head a bit. I've had a bit of a patchy season so far, maybe a bit of rest and it's made me come back a bit fresher.”
The winning goal was typical Cureton, in the right place as Lee Croft's cross took a deflection off a defender, and lashing it home with the confidence of a man who was the Championship's leading scorer last season, not a player who struggles to hold down a starting place this time around.
“It's funny, I was talking to Doc (Gary Doherty) the other day about forwards and runs and when you're not scoring there are certain things - you don't take that shot and you take an extra step and things like that,” he said.
“Once you're clear and everything is going well you smash things from everywhere and they just seem to fly in and I think coming in today I got rid of all the disappointments I've had in the past month and felt fresh again, like I was starting afresh.
“I think I took the shot like I would have done if I'd scored four or five on the bounce, so it flew in. Just that little bit of luck here and there just start to change you.”