Horlock sings Currie praises

THE red-hot form of Darren Currie has helped take Town to the top of the table and stay there - and no one is less surprised than Kevin Horlock.Currie, the £250,000 signing from Brighton, bagged a brace at Plymouth on Monday to take his tally to three goals in six games, after netting on his debut at QPR last month.

By Derek Davis

THE red-hot form of Darren Currie has helped take Town to the top of the table and stay there - and no one is less surprised than Kevin Horlock.

Currie, the £250,000 signing from Brighton, bagged a brace at Plymouth on Monday to take his tally to three goals in six games, after netting on his debut at QPR last month.

One of the first people Currie bumped into when he arrived at Portman Road was Kevin Horlock, who welcomed him with a sarcastic comment about his hair and helped make him feel right at home straight away.


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It was a reunion that suits Horlock, who has always been a fan of the spiky-haired wide man.

The first time he left the Hammers, a little more than 12 years ago, Horlock left behind a rising star by the name of Darren Currie.

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The pair played in the same West Ham youth team, along with a certain Matt Holland, and when the three went their separate ways, Horlock thought Currie would be the most likely to reach the big time.

As it happened, he and Holland played at the top level with Manchester City and Ipswich respectively, while Currie plied his trade as something of a journeyman midfielder, taking in clubs such as Barnet, Wycombe Wanderers and Plymouth.

Now Horlock, who has won promotion to the Premiership three times, twice with Manchester City and once with Swindon, believes Currie can give Town the same boost as Darren Huckerby gave to Norwich City last season.

Horlock said: “Darren still has that ability where it is hard to get the ball off him. He has two great feet and is the sort of player the crowd can take to. He is exciting to watch and he has always been able to do that.

“No disrespect to the clubs he has played for before, but I thought he would play for West Ham, or even go to a big club and make a big name for himself.

“He has been patient and played in the lower leagues and shown he can play at this level, or even higher.

“When new faces come in it gives everyone a lift. We all want to play in the Premiership and, when quality players come in, that adds to our chance of getting there and gives us all a lift.”

Currie's arrival and immediate impact has been a double-edged sword, though, with competition for places in midfield now cut-throat.

Horlock missed out at Wigan through suspension, was dropped for the defeat against his old club West Ham and then brought back for the win at Plymouth.

Horlock said: “With me getting booked and Darren coming in, it meant I had to work even harder to try and get my place back and now I have to try and keep it.”

The duo will be fighting it out for places in Town's midfield for Saturday's FA Cup third round tie at home to Bolton on Saturday.

Skipper Jim Magilton is expected to return to the starting line-up against the club he scored a hat-trick against in the explosive 2000 play-off semi-final second leg.

Ian Westlake will be playing his last game before a one-match ban, picked up courtesy of a fifth booking of the season when he was cautioned for a foul at Plymouth.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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