Cureton - Canaries need new boss quickly

CHRIS LAKEY Jamie Cureton believes Norwich City need to get a new manager installed as quickly as possible to help the team arrest their dramatic slide down the Championship table.

CHRIS LAKEY

Jamie Cureton believes Norwich City need to get a new manager installed as quickly as possible to help the team arrest their dramatic slide down the Championship table.

One point from the last seven games has seen City plummet to second from bottom of the table, superior goal difference the only thing keeping them above Queens Park Rangers - although with the London club kicking off against Charlton at 12.45pm today, City could suffer the ignominy of being the bottom side when they face West Brom this afternoon.

Cureton believes the sooner a new man is installed behind the wheel the better for City.

"I think it is a difficult situation, I think everyone would like someone appointed just to give us a bit of direction again," he said.

"It is not nice not knowing who is going to be the person in charge. Everyone would like a manager named and whoever it may be can come in with new ideas and new ways of playing. And if it is Jim (Duffy) he can get on with it knowing he has a lot more games to come. I think someone needs to be appointed fairly sharpish and we can all regroup and look forward."

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Cureton has first-hand knowledge of two of the men said to be on City's wanted list to replace Peter Grant, having played under Phil Parkinson at Colchester and for Martin Allen, when he was Alan Pardew's assistant at Reading - but says experience interests him more than speculation.

"There are a few I suppose, but I don't really get too involved in it because anyone who is out a job will probably be linked and obviously other people will be thrown in," he said. "You keep your eye looking around to see if anyone pops out, but until the person is named I don't really get too involved.

"There are a few I know, obviously Parkinson and Martin Allen who I have worked under, they are people I know quite well, but there are a load around and they all have their own qualities. But the board have to make their decision who is the right person to come in and turn us around.

"I think it is someone who needs a lot of experience, maybe someone who has been around for a little while and has maybe been in situations like this before."

With a quarter of the season already gone, City are pretty much on a damage limitation exercise, with any thoughts of even making the play-offs seemingly just a pipe dream, and the ambition simply to avoid the drop to League One.

"I suppose at the moment that has to be our main focus," admitted Cureton. "We have to start winning games. We can't really look too far ahead. We have to get ourselves out of this situation and try to move up the table.

"The heights we were hoping to get to aren't really being talked about at the moment, so I think for now it is a case of regrouping and getting out of this situation and then after that just keep trying to win games and see what happens.

"It is quite difficult: things obviously aren't going great so it is a difficult time for us all, but I think the boys are still high spirited and believe we can get ourselves out of this situation."

Cureton insists that all is well in the camp, despite the team's position.

"The morale seems fine - it's quite strange for a club that is at the bottom that the morale is still okay," he said. "No one seems to be too down, everyone sees to be coming in high spirited, still believing we can get out of this.

"There are still 30 odd games to go so it is not a dire situation at the moment - it is not great, but I think the boys look around and still see we can still get out of it.

"Maybe we do need a few more bodies, we are quite light when we pick up injuries, we start to have a lot of young players around.

"It isn't an easy situation - people are coming in as kids. I did it when I made my debut and we ended up getting relegated and it is not an easy situation. When you are a lad and making debuts you want to come into a team that is full of confidence and winning football matches and we are not, so we are asking people like Michael Spillane and Rossi Jarvis to come into a team and stop the team losing, which is a lot of pressure for a young lad.

"So maybe we need a bit more experience. John Hartson has come in and obviously got that and maybe we do need a few more bodies of that sort of ilk that can come in and hopefully steady us down. Whether the board will allow that I don't know.

"What is going on behind closed doors obviously we know nothing about and you have just got to hope that whoever they appoint does come in with sort of good ideas and will help us start winning games.

"Obviously the reason I came here was because I was hoping to be challenging at the other end, but these things happen in football, you can't predict what's round the corner. It isn't something I was prepared for, but you have to get on with it. This is the situation we are in and as a group of players we have to get ourselves out of it."

Cureton will be hoping for a start today to help block out the late "miss" at Burnley, when goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly's excellent save prevented the Canaries from picking up a valuable point.

"I am one of those who it does play on my mind a lot and it will probably carry on until kick-off on Saturday," said the summer signing from Colchester, whose four goals came in his first two matches of the season only to be followed by a run of nine games without a strike.

"I am disappointed - people have tried to say the keeper did well and it was maybe on top of me but I am one of those who in a situation like expects to score."