Unleash Jimmy Kebe says Jay TabbBy Jonny Fordham
April 29, 2011
Jay Tabb has urged manager Brian McDermott to unleash Jimmy Kebe on his former club Coventry City.
Tabb was named the Sky Blues’ player-of-the season in 2008 and after three years at the Ricoh Arena he still has fond memories and close friends at the club.
However, he would relish nothing more than a fit-again Kebe terrorising his former side and helping Royals earn the vital point they need to secure a play-off place against City.
Kebe has seven assists to his name so far this season, the same number as midfielder Brian Howard, one less than Jobi McAnuff, but another three less than star striker Shane Long (10).
And Tabb said of the dangerman: “If Jimmy is fit then he is a massive player for us and would probably go back into the side.
“He has been in great form and is a candidate for our player of the season, but Hal Robson-Kanu is a great young player and scored against Sheffield United.
“Hal has all the attributes to be a really good player and he is only young as well.
“Jimmy is more experienced, though, and has had a longer run in the team, but Hal came in and did brilliantly.
“Coventry have picked up and had a good couple of results.
“I don’t think they were ever in any danger of being in a relegation battle, but when Andy Thorn took over they were only a few points out of the zone.
“They’ve had a few wins and are safe now. It’s their last home game of the season and they will want to win and it will be tough for us.”
Tabb has mainly been an un-used subsititute of late as Mikele Leigertwood and Jem Karacan nailed their places in McDermott’s starting XI.
But the 27-year-old midfielder believes his manager has got his team selections spot on in recent weeks, even if it does mean he misses out.
“Some managers stick with the same team and some chop and change regardless of the result,” said Tabb
“Here if the team are playing well then the manager normally sticks with the same team.
“Those are the decisions that a manager has to make and you have to remember that it isn’t personal.
“As players if you are not playing then it is not because the manager doesn’t like you.
“He just thinks that another player in that position would do a better job and you have to take that on the chin.”
And if Reading do make the play-offs under McDermott, then Tabb is hoping to break his promotion duck.
He added: “I’ve been involved in three play-offs, two at Brentford and one here at Reading.
“I’ve been unsuccessful in all three so hopefully this time and if we get there then it will be great.
“The first leg comes around so quickly after the last game of the season and I think the first game can be a bit of a lottery.”