Jay Emmanuel-Thomas: Bristol City happy with forward's 'rehab'

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas

Bristol City head coach Sean O'Driscoll says the League One club are in the process of "rehabilitating" new signing Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

The 22-year-old ex-Arsenal youngster arrived at Ashton Gate last month after an unproductive spell with Ipswich.

He has impressed in his first two City games, scoring on his debut against Bradford and setting up two goals in the League Cup win against Gillingham.

And O'Driscoll said: "We are well on the way to rehabbing him."

He told BBC Radio Bristol: "He's got ability. We've always known that - everyone in football knows that - but it's about whether he can apply himself.

"You've got to bite your tongue with some of the stuff he tries, but if he's in the right area of the pitch then we've got to give him free reign to try things, and he appreciates that.

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"And with all the other stuff you want him to do, he's likely to do that. It's a trade off."

Emmanuel-Thomas was signed from Arsenal by then Ipswich boss Paul Jewell in 2011 for £1.4m and scored seven goals in 44 games during his first season with the club.

But the forward struggled to fit in under new Blues boss Mick McCarthy and the former Republic of Ireland manager publicly criticised the winger's work-rate.

Emmanuel-Thomas was placed on the transfer list this summer and moved to City as part of a swap deal with Paul Anderson.

McCarthy later admitted: "It's one of those scary ones. Jay did not fulfil his potential here and he may well do so somewhere else."

O'Driscoll previously managed Emmanuel-Thomas when the player had a loan spell at Doncaster, and says he seen a change in his personality,

"I've had the luxury of having him before and he's matured as a lad.

"People know about his ability but we're more impressed with the fact he's now winning headers and closing down people.

"He gives us something we've never had."