‘I wasn’t surprised when Mick said I could leave Ipswich Town’ - Jay Tabb

Jay Tabb

Jay Tabb - Credit: Archant

A revitalised figure at Portman Road, Jay Tabb is reaping the rewards of persevering with his career at Ipswich Town.

A summer heart-to-heart with manager Mick McCarthy left the ball in the midfielder’s court, the former Reading man being told he could seek pastures new, following an indifferent first full season in Suffolk.

Tabb, who is fit again after illness for tomorrow’s game at Millwall, said of his chat with McCarthy: “It was fair enough really, I did not do well enough last year and it didn’t come as much of a surprise.

“It maybe took a little bit of pressure off me coming into pre-season and I got on with it.

“Due to a couple of injuries – I think Cameron Stewart would have started the season but he got injured – I found myself in the first eleven and did OK, went out (of the team) and then came back in.

“It was a justified conversation he (McCarthy) had with me but luckily things have turned round.”

The 30-year-old insists nothing much has changed – he is too long in the tooth for that – and says his transformation at the Championship promotion-chasers is quite simple.

Most Read

“I know what I am, I am 30 years-old now so it’s not like I am going to start doing step-overs and Cruyff turns or find an extra ten yards pace,” added the ex-Brentford and Coventry ace.

“I know what I am good at and I think the manager knows that as well.

“I am just trying to concentrate on the job he wants me to do.

“That’s working hard and being reliable but also about me getting in the box and nicking the odd goal, because if you are going to get promoted, everyone needs to chip in.

“That’s the one thing all midfielders need to add to their game.”

Town are currently third in the Championship ahead of tomorrow’s clash with third-bottom Millwall and are looking to recapture the form they were showing prior to their double-header FA Cup clash with Southampton, which sandwiched a home defeat to Derby County.

“The closer you get to the end of the season, you find that if you slip up, other teams (at the top) might slip too and you suddenly wonder, ‘what if?’ explained Tabb,

“If we’d have beaten Derby we would have been at the top, five points clear of them, so there are lots of ‘what ifs’.

“But we are in a good position and if we beat Millwall, we could find ourselves top on Saturday.”

Town’s game at Middlesbrough on Saturday, March 14 will be shown live on Sky Sports (kick-off 12.15pm).

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter