Barker believes in play-offs
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas had admitted his frustration at playing a
bit-part role for Ipswich this season.
The attacking midfielder, 22, formerly of Arsenal, has not fit
directly into boss Mick McCarthy’s plans since he took charge in
November, making 12 substitute appearances in the league while not
even featuring at all during January and February.
Yet he stepped off the bench in Town’s last game before the
international break to provide the assist for Carlos Edwards’
crucial winner in a 1-0 success over Bolton, a result which
maintained a four-point gap to the drop zone.
It promises to be a nervy ride over the remaining eight games of
the campaign but Emmanuel-Thomas believes Ipswich have got enough
to preserve their Championship status.
“It has been quite a frustrating season for me because I’ve been
in and out of the team and obviously, as a player, you want to be
playing regularly,” he told the club’s official website.
“But the manager has explained what sort of approach he wants to
take into games and I totally understand that. I haven’t sulked or
anything like that. I’ve just got my head down and tried to impress
in training and look to take my chance when it comes along.
“I think the team have been playing pretty well recently and
we’ve had some decent results. We know we have eight massive games
left but I’m confident we will pick up enough points to be safe
long before the end of the season.”
Two late goals from striker Jamie Proctor at the Broadfield
Stadium on Tuesday night ended a run of four successive draws for
Barker’s men as they leapfrogged the Railwaymen into the top
The Reds are nine points adrift of a top-six spot and Barker is
keen to continue the momentum going into Good Friday’s home game
Barker said: “This keeps us in contention, and puts us right
back in the race again.
“It was the only game and someone had to make ground, whereas
the team that lost effectively dropped out of the play-off
He continued: “We’ve three games in six days and hopefully we
can carry on the momentum.
“We are on course for the time being but a lot will be decided
over the next six or seven days.
“The league table will look very different on Monday evening. We
are on a good run of form and it is a fantastic opportunity for
“The players are enjoying themselves and we must be one of the
most entertaining teams to watch in the division.”