U's hopeful of capturing Jamie

JAMIE Cureton could play his final game for Colchester United at Brentford tomorrow.U's boss Phil Parkinson has admitted that Cureton might be on his way back to Swindon Town, when his loan deal from the County Ground expires this weekend.

By Carl Marston

JAMIE Cureton could play his final game for Colchester United at Brentford tomorrow.

U's boss Phil Parkinson has admitted that Cureton might be on his way back to Swindon Town, when his loan deal from the County Ground expires this weekend.

The 30-year-old livewire striker has proved a big hit at Layer Road, since his arrival in late October. His terrific strike-rate in front of goal, with seven goals in just eight starts, has been a prime reason for United's transformation into genuine promotion candidates.

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No decision will be made on Cureton's future until after this weekend's round of matches. Swindon boss Iffy Onoura will then discuss the situation with his opposite number Parkinson.

There is every possibility that Swindon, who defeated the U's 1-0 on Boxing Day, to end United's 12-game unbeaten run, will recall Cureton. However, even if he does go back to the County Ground, Parkinson has not ruled out the likelihood of him signing the former Norwich, Bristol Rovers and Reading striker at a later date.

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“Jamie (Cureton) has done fantastically well for us, and it's no secret that I want to keep him,” insisted Parkinson.

“Jamie himself does not want to leave, but we might have to resign ourselves to the fact that he may be on his way back to Swindon.

“I get on very well with Iffy (Onoura), and I know that it's going to be a very difficult decision for him to make.

“Jamie was not getting much of a look-in at Swindon, before he came to us. He has got himself fit by training hard, and has really benefited from playing some matches.

“He is now match-fit, and expects to play every week. Jamie won't want to go back to Swindon to sit on the bench every week, or sit in the stands. Iffy is aware of this.

“I think that Jamie might be going back, but I am confident that we could sign him at a later date, whether that be on loan or on a permanent deal,” added Parkinson.

Cureton was denied a chance to play what could have been his final Layer Road home game, against Scunthorpe on Wednesday night, by a frozen pitch.

He had been forced to sit out the U's defeat at Swindon on Boxing Day, against his long-term employers, because of a clause in his contract, and so was desperate to return against the Iron. That fixture was called off after a final pitch inspection at 6.15pm by referee Steve Dorr.

However, Bristol-born Cureton should feature at Griffin Park tomorrow, as the U's bid to upset the league leaders in West London.

Parkinson said: “Brentford are on top of the league, but then we are still in the top six, so it promises to be a terrific clash.

“It should be a really entertaining holiday fixture, between two in-form teams.

“The lads are itching to get back into action, after the disappointing performance and result at Swindon on Boxing Day.

“It was frustrating that our home match against Scunthorpe was postponed, but we are keen to get back on track at Brentford.

“They are going great guns this season, and their manager Martin Allen has done a tremendous job. When he first took over, Brentford looked certainties for relegation.

“But he has really turned it around over the past two seasons. You know what to expect when you play them.

“They will play at 100 miles-per-hour, and close you down very quickly,” added Parkinson.

Brentford remained top of League One, despite the postponement of their fixture at Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday evening.

The Bees stayed in pole position, because of third-placed Huddersfield's failure to beat visiting Port Vale - the Terriers crashed to a 3-0 defeat. Second-placed Swansea had their home match against Gillingham called off because of a frozen pitch.

The Londoners have only lost four of their 23 league games, two at home and two away. Bristol City (3-2) and Bournemouth (2-0) escaped from Griffin Park with wins in September and October respectively, while the Bees also tasted defeat at Port Vale and Huddersfield.

Remarkably, for a club who are top of the league, their leading scorer only has five league goals - striker Kevin O'Connor.

However, Allen's men have proved that they are dangerous from all areas of the park. No fewer than 14 Brentford players have been on target in League One this term.

n Many Colchester United supporters will be wearing fancy dress costumes for tomorrow's trip to Brentford. They will be travelling on the supporters' coaches.

Some of the costumes on show will include those of Henry VIII, a court Jester, Cruella de Ville, a Dalmatian, a Cavalier, a Mexican and Tinkerbelle, to name but a few.

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