City striker Jamie Cureton has revealed he is on the road to recovery after his niggling injury and is determined to be cooking on gas by the time Juande Ramos' Spurs come to town next week.
The Canaries' only recognised senior striker has been troubled with a groin complaint throughout pre-season but with the clock ticking down to August 9 and that Championship opener at Coventry, Cureton has admitted he'll be ready and raring when the serious stuff starts in less than three weeks time.
After all, if Glenn Roeder fails to acquire any of his striking targets, then Cureton will be expected to lead the line at the Ricoh Arena. And he is expected to play a large part of the Canaries' Swedish tour finale against Falkenbergs tonight.
“I had a groin injury. I didn't really pull it, it was just a deep groin pain,” admitted Cureton.
“I could have trained but they felt they wanted me to rest it to try to get rid of the pain, otherwise I'd be managing it all through the season, so I took four or five days off. I did as much as I could but tried to keep off the groin area. It's still fairly sore but it's getting better with each day.
“The aim was to come out here and play some part in tonight's game but I tried to push myself forward and I managed to get 20 minutes of the game against Ahlafors.”
“I doubt if I'll start tonight but it will be a case of maybe playing 45 minutes and then look to the Tottenham game to get right back into it.”
With his groin issue still causing concern, he was not expected to feature in Saturday's 2-1 success over Ahlafors, let alone score a last minute winner. And the Barclay End darling was delighted to finally get some pre-season minutes under his belt after coming on as a late substitute.
“It was nice. I wasn't really expected to play, to be honest. I was pencilled in to play tonight, but training's been all right. I've been joining in little bits and I felt OK.
“I just pestered them enough to put me on the bench and they said they'd try to give me the last 20 minutes or so and they managed to do that.
“It was just a case of me getting some sharpness back and touching the ball, because I haven't really touched the ball in a few weeks. But it was good to get the goal.
“I've missed nearly three games that the boys have been involved in so I need to get more matches under my belt and I hope the fitness will come back. I've still got a bit of time to get back up to speed but I feel all right.”
With new faces seemingly en route to Norfolk ? as David Bell and Arturo Lupoli continue to reported as 'on the verge' of joining the Canaries ? Cureton is determined to prove he can still cut the mustard at Championship level.
And his 90th minute header against the Swedish part-timers at the weekend will go some way to showing that last season's top scorer has still got what it takes. Now for more of the same tonight?
“We knew from the end of last season the manager was going to be changing the squad around with the people that left,” Cureton continued.
“So I knew that players were going to come in and I knew there were going to be forwards, so it's important for me to have a good pre-season and be in the starting XI at Coventry. It's down to me to stay in the team.
“I know the gaffer's working hard to get players in and new ones have already come in so I'm sure by the time August comes or at least the end of August, we'll have our squad together. So it's important for me to be in the side and battle for my place.
“I'm sure the new kids that come in will want to do the same. The Gaffer wants competition for places and we're all up for the fight.
“Everyone knew that he wanted to change the squad around so we've had a big, big overhaul since I signed at the beginning of last season.”
“We were saying there are not going to be many left from last year's pre-season, but it's something you have to deal with and as long as you're one of the ones that he wants to keep, you've got to do your best to be in his 11. Everyone knows that.
“It's a shame and it's sad if you see certain people leave if they're good friends but they move on and you have to.”
And as for those new arrivals already through the door, are they settling in well?
“Yeah they all seem fine. Elliot [Omosuzi] came out this weekend and he knows a few of the lads so we've had a bit to chat about and he's doing OK.
“It's been good being out here because rather than coming in and then going home on a normal day, we're together the whole time.
“Breakfast, dinner, lunch, you're constantly together so we get to chat and they get to blend in a bit more so that's been good.”