Curtis joined us last season, and I think it would be fair to say that he didn’t have the best of starts. I was very critical of his performances here, and so when he put that monster performance in against Spurs the last game of the season, I started to wonder if I’d been a bit harsh.
This season Curtis has gone from strength to strength and has become the lynch pin in the back four in my opinion. On this basis, I approached Blues via Andy Walker, and asked if I could do one of my “Speaks To” items with Curtis. Obviously through the busy schedule of a professional footballer – it was impossible to meet or speak on the phone, so I opted for a bunch of written questions.
I started by apologising to Curtis for being critical, more from the aspect that I didn’t think he was good enough. It wasn’t a question – I just thought I should get it off my chest. He appears to have chosen not to respond to it, which is absolutely fine – why should he, he KNEW he was good enough!
Anyway, on with the questions.
When you heard that Blues were in for you, did you have any apprehension about crossing the city?
None at all as (I thought) it was an opportunity to go and play Premier League football and I had been frozen out at Villa so no longer felt a Villa player I guess. It was harder for me to turn my back on Leicester if I’m honest.
Although I’ve apologised obviously your start at Blues wasn’t ideal and you had a few games where perhaps you didn’t play well. What did you put that down to?
I wasn’t happy with my level of performance. Not getting the game time affected me but to this day I still don’t believe I was terrible, I just feel I was highlighted as the new boy and I had to gain respect. If you’re losing games that’s difficult. In my first 2 games we made several changes in each game therefore I wasn’t playing in the settled first team.
You did finish the season well and had a terrific last couple of games. What did you then focus on over the close season and into the new season, to be able to start strongly?
Going into the Tottenham game it was maybe a case of keeping my head held high and showing what I can do. Close season I didn’t change much, I was just going into a new season with a manager that allowed me to play games.
What would you say your best position is from your own perspective?
Centre Back. I could probably “do a job” at right back but I’m a centre back all day long.
What was the European experience like for you?
If I’m honest not as big a deal for me as I’d already played in Europe for Villa. Though the atmosphere and support, particularly away, was incredible and we got lifted by how much it meant to the fans. The effect on our league games was bizarre though as I went from playing around 20 games in 2 years to playing that many games in 10 weeks!
In the 70’s we had Kenny Burns, who was a defender who was converted into a forward. Do you think you could be a defender that could be converted into a forward with the goals you’re scoring?
I think every centre half would like to be a striker but I don’t think I would ever convert to make it a full time position. I’d back myself to do a job up there but I guess until you’ve played a game up top properly you wouldn’t no how natural/unnatural it would feel.
The way Blues are playing at the moment and the way results are coming, there seems to be a real togetherness in the squad in that we score late goals and keep going to the end. What could you tell us about that?
The scoring late goals side comes from the fitness we achieve with the training and gym sessions and the “never give up” attitude we have in ourselves. The togetherness I think at first was due to the influx of new players so all new together therefore everyone was starting from a clean slate. But over time we became closer maybe from all the travelling and time we spent together. There are no bad eggs and we’re all in it together aiming for the Premier League.
What has been your highlight of being at Blues so far?
I’d probably say the Watford game. Having never been prolific the goals I scored took me to 4 goals in 5 league games and as an ex-Luton player it was extra special to score 2 against Watford.
Who are your football heroes, or who do you aspire to?
My footballing heroes growing up were Eric Cantona…I grew up a Man Utd fan and he was the main man, and as I became a centre half I always looked up to Rio Ferdinand even in his West Ham and Leeds days, I loved the way he played as a modern defender.
What car do you drive?
I have a Range Rover Vogue and a Dodge Charger SRT8
If you could only listen to one artist (musically) which would it be and why?
Probably a typical answer but I would probably say Drake as he always produces hit after hit and also is adaptable to different tempos which put you in different moods.
If players are judged in millions how much is Chris Hughton worth?
I don’t know how to judge the manager in millions but if he gets us to the Premier League that is worth 40-50 million a year to the club so that’s the most important stat.
Some either ors!
Toast or crumpets? Crumpets
Beer or wine? Beer
Left or right? Right
Strictly or X factor? X Factor
What question should I have asked you, and what is your answer?
I like to keep Q&A’s interesting so don’t like to give away too much until someone comes up with something good. We’ll see if anyone surprises me with a clever question soon.
Thank you Curtis for giving some of your time to answer my questions, keep those performances up – and we’ll take a few more goals from corners off you too!
A special thanks to Andy Walker of BCFC for helping make this happen. Also all images are used with permission of BCFC.