Cureton - I can't afford another wasted season

PUBLISHED: 07:30 24 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:22 06 July 2010

Jamie Cureton says he is at a crossroads in his Norwich City career and could be forced to leave Carrow Road unless he is part of Bryan Gunn's first team plans.

Jamie Cureton says he is at a crossroads in his Norwich City career and could be forced to leave Carrow Road unless he is part of Bryan Gunn's first team plans.

The 33-year-old striker has virtually written off last season, but, with just a year remaining on his current deal, says he cannot afford to waste another year.

Cureton has yet to discuss his position in the pecking order with Gunn, but insists he is ready to commit himself to the cause as one of the squad's most experienced campaigners in the third tier of English football.

He has more than 130 League One goals on his CV, but that could count for nothing if Gunn puts him in the queue behind Cody McDonald, the returning Chris Martin - and any other new strikers.

If that's the case, then Cureton may be knocking on Gunn's door.

“I'm at an age now where I want to play as much as possible,” said Cureton. “It's not like I'm 21 and with my whole career ahead of me.

“I'm in the last year of my contract and the last thing I need is to have a season like I did last year and then suddenly be out of contract. That's no good to me. I would love to be playing every week, scoring goals and earning another contract here, but if that's not the case I have to worry about my future.

“I still feel I have a lot of good years in me and I don't want to hinder that by having another season where I don't play and I don't get the goals because then if I don't stay at Norwich, after that my options are limited because I've had two seasons that haven't been great.

“I need this year to be a real big year and hopefully that will be for Norwich. But I don't know- since I came back it's been two up and down years and I don't want another.”

Cureton believes his troubles began when Peter Grant left the club, in October, 2007, just a little over three months after signing him.

“A lot of the loan players have gone back and there's just me, Cody McDonald and Chris Martin, but I'm sure the gaffer will bring in a forward or two,” said Cureton.

“Sometimes it works out that a manager uses the people he brought in - it's what happened after Grant left. He bought me and he was always going to use me, but after that the other managers don't need to justify you being at the club.

“My biggest problem came when Peter Grant left - he pursued me and brought me here. But the person who got me here left and after that it has been up and down.”

However, Cureton insists it the yellow and green shirt of City he wants to wear next season.

“Definitely - but at the same time I just want to play football as well,” he said.

“I started 10 games for the club, which is no good to me and probably no good to the club either. I'm used to playing 40 games plus, and starting most of them, but I went from, starting 10 and with subs maybe I got 20 games, and then not being involved at all.

“I can't have a season like that again. I have spoken to the manager but we spoke when he didn't even know he had the job. There was nothing concrete said then. I was told he'd done an article saying that I was in his plans, which is fine, but I'm sure once we get back I will express to him my feelings and he will let me know his.

“I am sure he is looking to bring others in, forwards, and if I am down the pecking order again and not involved then I'm starting to look at my future. If I am in the squad and going to be given a chance then great, but obviously if not then we need to look at that and see what we can do about it.”

Cureton believes his track record in League One stands up to scrutiny.

“I have got no doubt that I can do well and score goals at that level, I have done it all my career,” he said.

“I have always believed in my ability - it's whether the manager trusts me enough to use me.”

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