Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is finally back in Mick McCarthy’s good books

Jay Emmanuel Thomas in action for Ipswich.

Jay Emmanuel Thomas in action for Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

JAY Emmanuel-Thomas has finally worked his way back into Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy’s good books.

The enigmatic winger was a match winner for the Blues – surprisingly in his own box – when producing a brave lunging block at the death of Saturday’s 1-0 home win over promotion-chasing Leicester City.

Prior to the weekend the 22-year-old had not featured in the match-day squad for eight successive games, with his frustrated boss saying he would only call him by his nickname of ‘JET’ once he ‘looked like he had a rocket up his backside’.

Time out of the side seems to have motivated the ex-Arsenal man though, whose ability to get fans off their seats with his mesmerising dribbling skills has often been overshadowed by his lackadaisical approach to off-the-ball work.

“He did great,” said McCarthy, whose side have moved six points clear of the Championship relegation zone ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to play-off chasing Nottingham Forest.

“He played at Charlton (Under-21 game) about six weeks ago and it was the most abject performance I have seen from a player. Nobody will get in my squad and my team if they play that way – no-one.

“Whether it’s the Under-21s, the reserves, training games; you don’t get in my team if that’s the case.

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“He got back in the squad on the back of his performance on Monday though (a 4-3 Under-21s win over Colchester). And he probably saved us the points at the end with his block.

“I’m glad to have him back, on side, training well and playing like that. It’s lovely to have his ability available.

“I would hope a spell out has made him hungry. He’s certainly trained really, really well.”

Meanwhile, the Blues boss revealed that goalscorer David McGoldrick may not have been on the field to net his 85th minute winner had it not been for the fact that his side travel to Forest tomorrow.

The front man has usually been subbed around the hour mark of matches, with McCarthy admitting: “I took Chops (Michael Chopra) off because I need him for Tuesday night. David can’t play against his parent club as part of his loan deal.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for match analysis, comment and reaction.