Could Jay Tabb be long-term Ipswich Town signing?
- Credit: Archant
Peterborough v Ipswich: Just like Elliott Hewitt, Jay Tabb looked like he had been at Ipswich Town all his career as the Blues earned a point at Peterborough, on Saturday.
The 29-year-old, brought in as a result of suspensions to Richard Stearman, but more importantly, Lee Martin, strolled through the game at London Road, even if his body may have been suggesting otherwise.
Neat on the ball, tenacious in the tackle and with a tendency to ghost into the opposition’s box, Tabb will become a vital addition to Town’s team between now and the initial expiry of his loan deal, which follows the game at Derby County on April 6.
He could have easily sat on the bench or in the stands at Reading, content to pick his wages up between now and the summer.
But the midfielder doesn’t want to be kicking his heels and, despite having not played since before Christmas, launched himself into Town’s Championship survival mission at London Road.
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“I don’t know about having no problems lasting the 90 minutes,” joked Tabb.
“I was struggling a bit towards the end but it was good, mentally, to get 90 minutes under my belt.
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“I have not played since December 23 so hopefully, if I am selected next Saturday, I will feel better with a week of training behind me.”
One man’s misfortune can be another’s gain and Martin’s silly red card at Nottingham Forest and Tabb’s subsequent arrival could be significant, providing Town stay up in the summer.
Martin is out of contract in the summer and, having endured a difficult season, could be squeezed out by former Brentford midfielder Tabb, who is a consistent performer at Championship level.
The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has won promotion with Reading to the Premier League and was also a key man for Coventry, picking up the club’s Player of the Year award in 2008.
“I received the call after the sendings-off at Forest, and the gaffer asked if I would be interested in coming to Ipswich,” said Tabb.
“I sorted out a few things with Reading, trained with them on Thursday then got the train up to Ipswich later that evening.
“The deal is just for a month at the moment so it is up to me to prove that I am worthy of a longer contract.”
Town were unlucky not to bring all three points back to Suffolk at the weekend and while they are still in trouble, Tabb has seen enough in his short time with the club to suggest there will be no issues with staying up come May 4.
“I have been in similar positions with Coventry and Reading, to an extent, although we got out of it there,” said Tabb.
“You never say never but there is more than enough quality in the changing room to stay up.
“Peterborough’s always a tough place to come but it’s a game we feel we should have won.
“If you don’t win though, then it’s important that you don’t get beat and we had a really good shape that stopped them playing in midfield.
“They had a couple of shots and a header but we should have also had a blatant penalty turned down and, on the whole, I feel we deserved to win the game.”