Ipswich Town star reveals, ‘my head was in a bad place’

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas - Credit: Archant

Consigned to the Blues’ under-21 squad, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas revealed his season hit rock-bottom during a dark day in January.

The 22-year-old winger, who has since returned to the first-team fold to make a number of successful cameos in recent weeks, revealed how a poor attitude in a reserve game at Charlton saw him ousted from the first-team picture for almost two months and criticised publicly by manager Mick McCarthy.

Ironically, just as in January, the former Arsenal man scored for the under-21s in Monday night’s return clash against the Addicks, but could not prevent Town from slipping to a 3-2 defeat.

However, this time around, the outlook is a lot brighter with the enigmatic youngster looking to end the season on a positive note – a far cry from his situation at the turn of the year.

“My head was in a bad place during the Charlton game,” said Emmanuel-Thomas.

“I played in the game and I scored but it did not really mean anything.

“I knew after the game I had not done myself justice and it wasn’t like I thought, ‘If I play well and score I am going to start the next game’, I just had one of those moments that young boys can have and I didn’t focus at all.

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“After that game, I had a conversation with Mick McCarthy and I apologised and since then, I have been getting back to the levels I was at before.”

Emmanuel-Thomas has been influential since his return from the bench against Leicester City last month, denying the Foxes a certain last-minute equaliser, setting up Carlos Edwards’ winner against Bolton and scoring in the 3-0 victory against Leeds.

Despite his upturn in form, JET concedes he will forever divide opinion.

He said: “I am like Marmite, and the fans either like me or they don’t, but that doesn’t faze me.”

I can’t change laid-back style, says JET - See more in today’s Archant publications