Cureton not on U's wish-list

JAMIE Cureton is not on Colchester United manager Paul Lambert's Christmas wish-list.

Carl Marston

JAMIE Cureton is not on Colchester United manager Paul Lambert's Christmas wish-list.

The U's boss is on the look-out for another loanee striker, especially as club record signing Steven Gillespie is set to be sidelined for several more weeks, but Cureton is not one of his targets.

Cureton became an instant hero at Layer Road, thanks to his remarkable feat of the 2006-07 campaign when he walked off with the Championship's Golden Boot, thanks to a haul of 24 goals.

But the livewire striker then “walked off” that summer, demanding a transfer and claiming that the U's “lacked ambition.”

He ended up signing for his old club Norwich City for a fee of £750,000. Now, though, the 33-year-old is struggling to break into the Canaries starting line-up, prompting him to ask City boss Glenn Roeder for a loan move.

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Cureton might well get his chance elsewhere, but Lambert yesterday ruled out any quick-fire return to Colchester.

“Jamie Cureton is not one of those players that I have been looking at,” revealed Lambert.

“I know the history behind it, and there are no plans to get him back. I'm looking for some pace up front. That's what we need, and I'd like to bring someone in of stature as soon as possible.”

Cureton aired his frustrations after he again failed to start for Norwich last weekend, in the 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Swansea City. He was only a substitute and has in fact only started three games this season.

“Me and the manager (Roeder) spoke about maybe if it was right to go on loan possibly, though no clubs were mentioned, It's probably been my most frustrating period in a long, long time,” confirmed Cureton.

Bristol-born Cureton formed a lethal partnership with Chris Iwelumo during the U's first season in the Championship, and he followed this up by topping the goal charts at Norwich last term (14 goals).

He is now getting restless at Carrow Road, but there is no imminent prospect of him wearing the blue-and-white of Colchester again.

Meanwhile, Lambert is facing up to the likelihood of being without striker Gillespie for several more games, perhaps until Christmas - the ex-Cheltenham Town hot-shot -was supposed to be the U's main goal threat this campaign.

Lambert said: “Steven (Gillespie) is continuing to receive treatment on his hamstring. He hasn't played that many games for us this season, so there would be no point in putting him straight back in.

“He needs to get himself fit again, which means he will need a few matches (for the reserves), otherwise there is a danger that he would break down again.

“He's had all the scans, and he's getting better. But it will be several more weeks before he returns,” added Lambert.

Also on the injury front, defender Paul Reid is making good progress following his foot injury. The ex-Barnsley defender has missed the last five games.

Midfielder Kem Izzet was another absentee last weekend, after injuring himself in training on the eve of the 2-0 home defeat by Walsall.

Lambert added: “Paul (Reid) is not that far from coming back. He should start training again next week. And Kem (Izzet) is OK. He was a big loss last week, but he should be available again.”

Chris Coyne reported back to the Community Stadium for training yesterday morning, after featuring in Australia's 1-0 win over Bahrain in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday evening.

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