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Jamie Cureton excited to take over as manager of Bishop's Stortford in BetVictor Isthmian League, Premier Division

Jamie Cureton is ready to "live and die" by his decisions after taking sole charge of Bishop's Stortford.

The 44-year-old striker is now player-manager in the wake of fellow joint-boss and club owner Steve Smith opting to vacate the dugout.

Smith's decision was announced by the club last Wednesday (October 2) after the Blues were beaten 4-1 at home by Potters Bar Town as they suffered a fifth straight defeat in all competitions and, following the weekend's results, slipped to 18th in the BetVictor Isthmian League, Premier Division.

Jamie Cureton scores for Stortford against Cheshunt. PIcture: Nathan Cracknell (18934678)
Jamie Cureton scores for Stortford against Cheshunt. PIcture: Nathan Cracknell (18934678)

Cureton's first game with the full responsibility on his shoulders will be at home to leaders Horsham this Saturday.

"I knew it was something I would like to do eventually and the plan was to get through this season and maybe start doing it next season," said Cureton, who will still be able to use Smith as a sounding board and has his full backing when it comes to player recruitment.

"With the recent results and performances we've had, Steve pulled me in and said he felt like something needed to change.

Jamie Cureton alongside Steve Smith on the sidelines. Picture: Nathan Cracknell
Jamie Cureton alongside Steve Smith on the sidelines. Picture: Nathan Cracknell

"He felt it was the right time to leave it in my hands. Everything we've been trying hasn't worked and he felt it was the right thing to do.

"I'm gutted for him after everything we achieved last season. I've enjoyed working with him and have learned a lot from him.

"We wanted to carry on from last season and end it on a high, but circumstances means it's happened now and I'm proud that he trusts me to do it on my own.

"There's no hiding place for me now and the real work starts now, I guess. Everything falls on me and I'll live and die by what I do."

Smith and Cureton, who has racked up a staggering 1,012 career appearances and bagged 367 goals since making his professional debut for Norwich City in the Premier League in 1994, took joint charge of the Blues in September 2018 following the resignation of Adam Flint, who quit after just four months at the ProKit UK Stadium.

Stortford picked up only one win and took five points from their first seven league matches under Flint. After taking the helm, Smith and Cureton guided the Blues to a seventh-place finish in the Isthmian Premier last term as the side climbed the table and only narrowly missed out on a play-off position.

They are currently on a five-game losing streak, however, including going down 2-1 at home to Peterborough Sports in the Emirates FA Cup, and have leaked 26 goals in nine league outings.

"That will be the first thing we look at, stopping conceding so many goals and being hard to beat," said Cureton. "We want to get back to what we were last season.

"Losing and winning are habits and at the moment we're on a losing run so we need to stop that, whether it's with a draw or a win.

"We need to get some confidence back into the players. I still believe in them and feel we've got a good group.

"In the short term we need some performances and to get some more points on the board."

Cureton, who has scored six goals in 10 appearances this term, will continue to play for as long as he feels he is still contributing to the team.

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