Picking up the Tabb – Ipswich Town midfielder credits a ‘kick up the backside’ from Mick Mccarthy for his return to form

Ipswich Town midfielder Jay Tabb has credited a ‘kick up the backside’ from manager Mick McCarthy for his return to form.

The 29-year-old impressed when brought to the club on loan from Reading last season, but was dropped after Town lost three of their opening four games of this campaign and started just three of the following 19 matches.

He returned to the starting XI for the games against Charlton and Preston (twice in the FA Cup) at the start of the New Year, but he admits he was well below-par in those matches.

McCarthy called him into his office to issue some constructive criticism and Tabb has once again looked like the player he previously did in the last two matches, a 1-1 draw at Leeds and 1-0 home win over Bolton.

“I knew I had to improve my performances,” said Tabb, who should maintain his place for the Championship match at second-bottom Barnsley tomorrow.

“He called me into his office and told me what I probably knew deep down anyway. He just said ‘you haven’t been good enough – sort it out!’ That’s the thing with the manager, he’s straight down the line and doesn’t dress things up.

“We had a look at it and decided that when I’m not in the team I’ve got to do a little bit extra either before or after training to keep me sharp. I started doing that and I think it’s made a difference.”

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He continued: “I just needed that chat from the manager really, I just needed him to give me a bit of a kick up the backside.

“It was definitely deserved. I came in on loan season, did well, the fans seemed to like me, I earned my contract and this season I haven’t featured as much and there is a reason for that – obviously I havn’t played well enough.

“Maybe sometimes you get a bit complacent and need a bit of a wake-up call. We lost three of the first four, the manager rightly made changes, then Tunners (Ryan Tunnicliffe) came in and did well. I suddenly found my chances few and far between and when they did come along I didn’t take them.

“Perhaps I just felt that whenever I was called upon it was kind of to fill a hole rather than make an impression.

“I wasn’t happy to be on the bench, but maybe I just accepted that coming off the bench and doing a job was my role, when really I should have been fighting for my position.”

McCarthy said: “It was me just pricking his conscience as much as anything and I think it worked because he’s been excellent.

“A kick up the backside is probably not the right term. It wasn’t like that, it was just me reminding him of what he’s all about.”

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