Bruce gets short thrift from dad

ORDINARILY if someone is dropped from a team at least their family will be there to lend a sympathetic ear.But while Alex Bruce's mum agreed it was a travesty when he had been left out of the side recently, dad Steve (the Birmingham City boss and his old manager) gave the defender short thrift.

By Derek Davis

ORDINARILY if someone is dropped from a team at least their family will be there to lend a sympathetic ear.

But while Alex Bruce's mum agreed it was a travesty when he had been left out of the side recently, dad Steve (the Birmingham City boss and his old manager) gave the defender short thrift.

Bruce the younger laughed: “I tried to get sympathy from him but he told me where to go.


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“Obviously when you are out of the team it is disappointing and not something you want to experience too much.

“I'm not very good at being left out but I imagine there are a lot of players like that. You have to bite your lip and get on with it, which is what I tried to do.”

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Bruce's patience and hard work paid off and he was installed back into the side on Tuesday and hopes to keep his place against Bristol City today.

He said: “It was good to get back in the team on Tuesday so now I'm looking to kick on from that and try and stay in the team.

“The manager wants players who want to play and understands you won't be happy when you are not in the side. I just got my head down and respected the manager's decision.

“It is not about me it is about the lads picking up points and they did.”

Bruce's return coincided with a 3-1 beating at Sheffield United but feels the officials had much to do with that result.

He said: “It was a difficult one to come into but I felt we did well. The game was even until the penalty decision, which was disgraceful - the worst I have ever seen in my life.

“Hopefully those dodgy decisions will even themselves out and we will get one or two go our way soon.”

The misery of the recent few weeks for Bruce was lifted when he and Jon Walters were picked by Pat Devlin for the Republic of Ireland 'B' squad to play Scotland next week, although the Town defender might still get called into the senior group depending on injuries.

Bruce said: “It is always good to be called into an international squad so I'm looking forward to join up with them next week.

“Jon has also been called up and fully deserved too, so hopefully we can both go and do ourselves justice.”

Bruce knows he and his Blues team-mates will be tested today by third-placed Bristol City but at least they know what to expect with Gary Johnson's side employing the side tactics as town do away.

Bruce said: “Bristol City have some very good players with people like Lee Trundle and Darren Byfield, so we will need to be on top of our game and continue our home run.

“We practice defending against it so we know how to deal with it. It is a difficult system to break down but we will look to do that and know how.”

Bruce is likely to keep his place alongside skipper Jason De Vos although Fabian Wilnis will feel aggrieved to have lost his place now.

Richard Naylor, who manager Jim Magilton was considering bringing back to give de Vos a break, has suffered another injury set back and has been ruled out for a month with a slipped disc in his neck.

Magilton said: “He is climbing the walls.

“He had a sore neck but Richard, being Richard, shrugged it off and played against Norwich City reserves. He got another knock and when a couple of nudges in training and a scan has showed a slipped disc.”

Magilton admitted he was considering bringing Naylor in to give skipper Jason De Vos a rest.

Danny Haynes had a run out with Town yesterday and will be assessed again this morning.

Ipswich Town: Alexander, Supple, Wright, Harding, Wilnis, Bruce, De Vos, Legwinski, Garvan, Trotter, Peters, Roberts, Miller, Clarke, Walters, Lee, Counago, Haynes.

Bristol City: Basso, Henderson, Orr, Carey, Fontaine, McAllister, Sproule, Elliott, Johnson, McIndoe, Noble, Byfield, Trundle, McCombe, Murray, Skuse.

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