And Big Sam wants him to steer clear of trouble without taking away the natural aggression.
The Toon boss said: "You can't take the devilment out of him or you lose some of the player but there is something about staying on your feet.
"That's rather than over-indulging and lunging because today it doesn't matter if it is a good tackle or a bad tackle.
"It is in the rules you can tackle that way but it is in the minds of almost every referee.
"If Alan can just curb it a bit, that would help.
"Three suspensions this year equals four to six games and that is why we need him to show a little bit more self control."