City top-scorer Jamie Cureton today remained largely unruffled by the comings and goings of the January transfer window. It was the nature of the modern football beast – particularly when you have got a new manager at the helm.
In no particular order, this week – or rather as of 3.30pm this Friday – had seen four players disappear to either pastures old or new. Joe Lewis to Peterborough, Chris Brown to Preston, David Strihavka home to the Czech Republic and Julien Brellier back to Europe.
The only one, said Cureton, that had caught him slightly on the hop was Brown's exit for Deepdale. As things stood this time last week and the 32-year-old City favourite was due to be playing alongside the Lilywhites new ?400,000 frontman in the FA Cup against Bury.
“Since they've started this January transfer window it seems to get busier and busier each year,” he said. “And it is a bit weird.
“People go when you don't expect them to – and you sign people out of the blue as well. But everyone just gets on with it. And if you get a phone call you're obviously either a bit shocked – or you want it!”
Strihavka's return home after his abortive attempt to adapt to English football was not too much of a surprise, said Cureton, who had done his bit to introduce the Czech striker to English living by taking him to see 'Transformers' at the cinema. Brown was more of a shock.
“David wasn't as much of a shock as Browny,” said the eight-goal striker, fast losing count of the number of strike partners he's had this season. He had two more last weekend in Chris Martin for the first 45 minutes of the Shakers game and Ryan Jarvis for the second – neither of whom might have featured but for a late call from Deepdale.
“David's not been involved for a long time now; maybe not as settled as much as he'd have liked – so that one was sort of expected.
“Browny's is maybe bit more of a shock. We did team-play on the Friday before the game and me and him were playing. Turn up Saturday and he's not there.
“But then again, he's not played as much as he wanted so he's been given an opportunity to go and play more football and obviously he's going to go and take that.”
All of which has left Cureton to do his sums.
“So that means that we're two strikers down, but obviously the manager is doing that knowing that he's bringing other people in. So it is a very busy time for everyone at the moment.”
One space was re-filled by Ched Evans after City boss Glenn Roeder sweet talked Manchester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson is letting his 19-year-old prospect come out to play again. Initially on an 'emergency loan' arrangement, Roeder revealed this morning that that could yet be extended again to a window-to-window deal.
“Ched did very well for us,” said Cureton, with a fair chance of being paired with the Welsh Under-21 star at Oakwell tomorrow.
“He obviously wanted to stay. He's getting first team experience. He wasn't sure if they were going to allow him back, but they have. But by losing those two, you need someone in fairly sharpish and Ched's come back and, hopefully, can do well for us again.”
Brown's exit ensures that bar 38-year-old Dion Dublin, City still lack an out-and-out target man with a younger pair of legs. Hence Roeder popping the Shola Ameobi question to Sam Allardyce again this week. You suspect that the same question will be put to the new Newcastle United boss – if and when he arrives before the January transfer window slams shut.
Certainly Cureton appears convinced that Roeder still has a few more tricks up his sleeve. The arrival of Chelsea starlet Ryan Bertrand last week came from nowhere.
“I know he's going to bring them in – purely from the way that he talks,” said Cureton. “He wants different types of players in, but I don't get too concerned about it. I just try and get on with my job and try and be one of the ones that he picks. If I'm not, then obviously we'll go from there…”
Bagging more than one goal will be a start tomorrow as the Canaries look to try and wrest three points out of the opposition for once as opposed to the last four, consecutive 1-1 draws.
It has been enough to take them out of the Championship's bottom three – and on to Gigg Lane this Tuesday for that FA Cup third round replay – but City need to start winning games again. That's the way to mid-table safety as the likes of both Preston and Queen's Park Rangers make the most of the window to splash the cash.
“It's going to be a tough game – they're not a bad side. And it's tough to go up there at the best of times, to be honest.
“But I think we are on good form and if we can go up there and get a result then we can claw them closer to us. It's going to be difficult, but how we've been performing in the league has been very good. So I don't see any reason why we can't go there and win the game.”