City chief Glenn Roeder echoed the thoughts of thousands of Canary fans over the weekend when he wondered aloud where the real Jamie Cureton had done.
The 33-year-old Canary striker has yet to score this season having registered a big, fat blank from his 14 appearances thus far.
On Saturday another glorious opportunity beckoned as Cureton found himself all alone, some 12 yards out, in the inside-left channel, deep in the Preston box.
With the game in the palm of City's hand at 2-1 and with skipper Darel Russell yet to see that oh-so costly red, here was Jamie's big moment; a gilt-edged chance to get that goal-scoring monkey off his back.
What followed next, however, was a sure and certain sign of a striker woefully short on belief and confidence as Cureton waited and waited and then passed the ball away to the far side – too far ahead of an over-lapping Lee Croft to reach.
The chance duly went begging and Cureton's traditionally bubbly confidence took another hit.
Given that Antoine Sibierski is likely to be sidelined this Saturday with that first-half knee knock, Russell will be suspended and the on-loan 'OJ' Koroma is out injured for “two to three weeks” the City boss can ill-afford to have one of his strike alternatives so out-of-sorts.
Cureton is in real need of a pick-me-up to put the smile back on his face – smething that could equally be said, of course, of the Canaries as a whole ahead of this evening's Annual General Meeting at Carrow Road.
“I just said to Jamie afterwards,” said Roeder. “I'm absolutely shocked knowing you like I know you now that you did try and square it for someone else to score.
“You're all about goals, you are.
“And there was another chance when he stepped onto one on the edge of the box when I thought he was just going to bend it into the far corner – and he tried to slide Leroy [Lita] in.
“It wasn't the worst pass in the world, but a chance to score a goal Jamie Cureton doesn't normally turn down. And there were two opportunities.”
Two opportunities to stake a big claim for a start against the Swans on Saturday; as it is, Roeder may have to look to Arturo Lupoli to fill the large hole left by first Sibierski's injury and then Darel Russell's red card. For otherwise the cupboard is pretty bare; next in line would probably be teenager Kris Renton.
“Bearing in mind he [Cureton] hasn't been in the team for a long while, I would have thought that the most important thing to Jamie would have been to try and score a goal and say: 'You've got to keep me in the team…'”
It was, in short, one of those 'courage' moments that Roeder made much of in the run-up to the Lilywhites clash; for Cureton to have the courage of his natural striking convictions. Right now and he appears to have lost the belief that wins you a Golden Boot.
“That was what was unusual about it,” added the Canary boss. “That he didn't pull the trigger when he had the chance to.
“But I wouldn't balme that on not scoring a goal for a while or not playing for a while. Playing football is an instinct.
“Whether you play week in, week out or only play an occasional game. It's an instinct to make the right decision at the right time.”
The player himself, Roeder revealed, was the first to wonder aloud why that natural, predatory instinct had deserted him of late.
“As always, after the game and Jamie has said: 'I can't understand why I didn't shoot…' but it's too late then. It's closing the door after the horse has bolted.”