Jay Emmanuel-Thomas delights the crowd but Paul Jewell demands more
IT may not have been a vintage performance befitting the champions watching on in the crowd.
But Jay Emmanuel-Thomas showed the trickery of Jimmy Leadbetter and the shooting prowess of Ted Phillips to lift the Portman Road crowd in Saturday’s special 1-0 win over Barnsley.
The match marked the renaming of the South Stand in honour of Sir Alf Ramsey with six members of his Division One-winning team attending.And while the football often failed to live up to that memorable achievement, the enigmatic Emmanuel-Thomas once again showed he could be an integral part of a promotion push next season.
Daryl Murphy’s 49th minute goal might have been the difference but the performance of Emmanuel-Thomas left the 20,000-plus inside Portman Road crowing. The right-winger hit the bar and went close on several occasions to adding to his six goals this season.
But ever-demanding Blues boss Paul Jewell insisted: “His ability is undoubted. But with the ability he has got, he has to hit the target more and score more goals.
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“He had six chances in the first half and he has to realise that you only get one for scoring and not two for bursting the net.”
Town should have put the game to bed before being indebted to the returning Arran Lee-Barrett for a fine double save late on.
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But the six Championship-winning players in the stands were treated to three points on a special day for the football club.
And the current side paid their own tribute to the 1961/62 team by joining in unison and applauding their predecessors as the former players took their seats before the match.
Jewell said: “It was a nice touch for the players to do that and it showed we respect the history of this club. It was commendable that the Barnsley bench clapped as well – it was terrific.
“It’s great that the club is a very traditional one and it is lovely to have the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand. It wasn’t a great performance but at least we got a victory for them.”