City fans making the short trip to the Emerald Park home of Gorleston tonight will instantly recognise Jamie Cureton – he'll be the one swathed head-to-toe in cotton wool as the Canaries open their pre-season campaign with a clash against The Greens.
The long-time Barclay favourite for now remains the only recognised, experienced striker on the club's books with Glenn Roeder's tortuous chase of Shola Ameobi looking no nearer an immediate resolution, while his transfer window chase of Southampton's Grzegorz Rasiak has also appeared to have gone cold this summer.
And while Ched Evans looks set to come out to play again next season as new Manchester City boss Mark Hughes tries to splash the cash on the likes of Ronaldinho and Craig Bellamy, with ten clubs reported to be forming a less-than-orderly queue for the teenager's services, it all leaves Cureton as the only obvious show in town.
Thereafter, Roeder will have little option but to place his faith in Chris Martin – either that or hope that Luke Daley proves something of a smash hit in his first, full season as a 'senior' professional.
Hence why Cureton's every tweak and niggle will set the alarm bells ringing; why he might run out at Emerald Park tonight with a 'Please Don't Touch' sign hanging from his neck.
“I think the club are probably worrying about it more,” said City's top-scorer, as ever sticking to his laid-back outlook on life.
“And if I do get any little niggles, they do seem to be very much on the side of 'Just rest it then…'”
The much-travelled striker is now about to start his 15th season as a professional and admits that as the years pass so he is more and more conscious of the need to look after himself during the close season. No longer can he afford to be the full-on party boy of his youth. Not with the kids in tow.
“That's the thing – you've got responsibilities these days. I've got children these days and the summer's about getting away with them,” said Cureton, who celebrates his 33rd birthday next month.
“When you were younger then maybe you did go a bit crazy over the summer; these days holidays tend to be a bit more relaxed than they used to be and you do find yourself training more; going for runs and stuff. But I'm feeling fine. I'm feeling good.”
Tonight's summer outing to Gorleston will at least give the City faithful the chance to have a first real look of Roeder's two new arrivals – former Forest midfielder Sammy Clingan and Blackpool's mercurial winger Wes Hoolahan.
The 26-year-old faces the potentially daunting prospect of being asked to step into Darren Huckerby's shoes as the long-time Canary hero prepares to start his new life on the other side of the world with San Jose Earthquake in the MLS.
Having now trained with Hoolahan for the last two weeks, Cureton suggests that the punters will not be disappointed by Roeder's biggest buy of the summer so far. The one 'new' player who won't be there will be Ryan Bertrand. The returning Chelsea loan star has a rather bigger date in his diary – tomorrow's England Under-19 clash with their Italian counterparts in the Chance Arena, Jablonec, in the heart of the Czech Republic.
It is a game Brian Eastwick's teenagers have to win if they are to progress to the semi-final stage of those UEFA European Under-19 Championships.
Meanwhile, and slightly closer to home, and Cureton is already a big Hoolahan fan.
“The boys have been very impressed with him in training – he's a good lad,” said Cureton, as the former Seasiders' favourite slips easily into life at Colney following this summer's switch – an initial ?250,00 deal that could eventually near double.
“He's got a good eye for a pass – and the quality to then deliver that pass,” said City's lone striker, still waiting for a pal or two to arrive. In the meantime, however, he can spot a decent supply line – provided, of course, Norwich can get their newly-capped Republic of Ireland international on the ball.
That said, the impression was that Hoolahan will come looking for the ball himself; he'll drift into more central areas and won't be found resolutely hugging the far touch-line.
“I think that's definitely something that we've got to look to do this season – get him on the ball as much as possible. Definitely,” said Cureton.
“And as I say, the boys have been very impressed with him – he's shown what he's shown in those two games against us last season,” he added, with Hoolahan running rings round the Canaries on both occasions.
He is, in theory, the player to unlock a door or two this season – a door that Cureton will all too willingly burst through.
“He looks a very good player and one that's going to be a big help to myself and the other forwards that we bring in,” said Cureton, having long twigged that Hoolahan's first instinct will be to come inside his full-back and work the space in the middle of the park rather than driving towards the far corner flag.
Given that the ex-Blackpool star is then likely to dink a little ball into a channel rather than lifting a high and hopeful cross towards the forehead of the nearest, strapping centre-half he could suit Cureton to a 'T'.
“I think he will probably tend to play more in the middle – in that little pocket between the forwards and the midfield,” said Cureton. “And that will suit me – definitely. If he's in that area looking to put people through and in on goal. Or if not in on goal, then giving them the chance to get a shot off.
“So it's going to be a case of us getting him on the ball – and getting him on the ball in the right places. We do that, then I think he's going to create us a hell of a lot of chances.”
That's the theory. Putting it into actual practice starts tonight at 7.45pm.