JET given a rocket – Ipswich Town coaching staff look to get the best out of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas

IPSWICH Town’s coaching staff have been playing good-cop, bad-cop roles to get the best out of enigmatic winger Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

With his mix of upper body power, long-range shooting and quick feet, the 21-year-old showed on numerous occasions during his debut campaign at the club that he can be utterly unplayable on his day.

However, too often he can go from powerhouse to powderpuff. And the wild inconsistency which saw Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger reluctantly sell a player he had high hopes for last summer continues to be a concern at Portman Road.

Manager Paul Jewell hauled off the seemingly confidence-shot youngster in the 66th minute of Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Blackburn Rovers following a poor performance.

Indeed, when asked after the game whether he thought he would have a new player in time for tonight’s game at Watford, the Blues boss dryly quipped: “Yes, hopefully Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.”

Speaking about how the Blues coaching staff plan on getting best out of Emmanuel-Thomas, assistant manager Chris Hutchings joked: “We just give him a kick up the backside and tell him to pull his finger out! It’s a case of me putting my arm around him and the gaffer giving him a kick!”

He continued: “In all seriousness, these things are going to happen and especially to wide men. When wide men aren’t creating or contributing much, you do think ‘get him off’ whereas a central midfielder will still be going around, competing, and you don’t notice it so much if they have an off day.

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“He had one of those games Saturday where it didn’t quite work for him but we have seen on numerous occasions that, when he is on his day, he is a match-winner for us.

“We try and give him all the confidence we can. We have to accept that some days it won’t work for him, on Saturday we had to make a change for the good of the team and it worked.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview of Watford v Ipswich.