Cureton's warning to City's wannabes

Jamie Cureton has urged Norwich City's young stars to keep their feet on the ground - to avoid following the same path which led to his departure from Carrow Road almost 11 years ago.

Jamie Cureton has urged Norwich City's young stars to keep their feet on the ground - to avoid following the same path which led to his departure from Carrow Road almost 11 years ago.

Teenagers Rossi Jarvis and Michael Spillane earned rave reviews for their midfield performances in the Carling Cup defeat at Premier League Manchester City on Tuesday. But Cureton speaks from experience when he warns them of the pitfalls that lie ahead.

The 31-year-old, having scored goals for fun in the youth and reserve teams, failed to deliver when he was called into the first team in 1994, distracted by the bright lights and late nights. Having spoken to Jarvis and Spillane to help calm a few nerves before their big midweek date, Cureton has some more sage advice.

"Don't get too carried away - that was my problem," he said."You break in and do well and obviously get a lot of press and people talking about you - but just keep a level head and understand that your career is a long time and keep doing the right things.

"Look after yourself, and just listen to the people around you. That is probably one thing I didn't do - you try and do your own thing and you think you know it all.

"Sometimes take advice from certain people, who have a lot of experience in there and just listen to the advice that is given to you.

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"I think the major thing is keep a level head, no matter how well or how badly you play - believe in your ability and you will have a good career."

Cureton is in his second spell with City after that early failure and, after years of playing in the lower divisions, is qualified to put a comforting arm around some young shoulders, as he did on Tuesday as the Canaries tried to bounce back from the disastrous weekend performance at Wolves.

"When I was breaking in you wanted your senior players around you to give you a bit of advice and help you out and that is what I felt I wanted to do," he said.

"I have been in their situation a while ago and I just wanted to give them a little bit of confidence in themselves that they could go out there and perform as they do in reserve football and on the training ground, because we know they are good players - it is just a case of getting that transferred to first team football.

"I thought it was very important I spoke to them and tried to give them a little bit of advice and I felt they took it and on the night the pair of them played very, very well."

"I said before the game, 'just play your normal game and just enjoy it. Don't worry about what has gone on before, you weren't involved in that. You have been brought in to do a job, the manager obviously trusts you; that is why he has put you in - just play normal, be relaxed'.

"And that is what they were. I think everyone tried to rally round them and get them through the game and I felt they both came through and did very well. That is what they have got to do - come in and stake a claim.

"There are places up for grabs and the manager is looking for a formula that is going to win games. I think they knew that, I think everyone was around them and they put in performances of the highest quality."

Canaries boss Peter Grant now has to decide whether to stick with his young midfielders for tomorrow evening's visit by bottom side Sheffield Wednesday - a fixture that City need to win to avoid being sucked any further down the Championship table.

"We know things have to improve and there is no better place than trying to get a win at home," said Cureton, who believes the performance at the City of Manchester Stadium has gone some way to making up for the Wolves no-show.

"I felt even though we lost the game with a younger team we put in a very good performance and that was really what everyone was looking for, some improvement on the Wolves game," added Cureton. "I think the manager got that, the boys felt happier with what they had done and that has given us more confidence."