Bruce signs up and goes straight in

ALEX Bruce will make his Ipswich Town debut tomorrow in the season opener against Crystal Palace and is relishing the fresh start.Bruce, a free signing from Birmingham City, suffered from accusations of nepotism as a result of his dad Steve being the manager at St Andrews and looks forward to being judged solely on performances now he is at Portman Road.

By Derek Davis

ALEX Bruce will make his Ipswich Town debut tomorrow in the season opener against Crystal Palace and is relishing the fresh start.

Bruce, a free signing from Birmingham City, suffered from accusations of nepotism as a result of his dad Steve being the manager at St Andrews and looks forward to being judged solely on performances now he is at Portman Road.

The 21-year-old has penned a three-year deal with Ipswich and is expected to go straight into the side that faces Peter Taylor's Palace tomorrow.


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A clause in the contract means he cannot play against Birmingham at St Andrews in September and even though it is a free transfer, there is a sell-on fee if Town do let him go for a profit.

Bruce said: “There was a downside to working with my dad as any of others in the same position will tell you - Frank Lampard and Andy Todd, for example.

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“You give 100 per cent in training all week but there is added pressure when you play on the Saturday, especially when you are slaughtered no matter how well or badly youhave done.

“It is difficult, especially for a young person trying to set out on a career.

“So I decided it was the best opportunity to get away from that and build up my career.”

After loan spells at Oldham, Tranmere and Sheffield Wednesday, Bruce opted for a permanent move away from Birmingham and despite facing competition, it was Town he chose.

Bruce said: “I enjoyed playing for Birmingham, the supporters, players and staff, were excellent with me so it was a big decision to move away.

“Coming to a very good club and playing every week was a bug factor. There were a few clubs interested but Ipswich made me feel the most welcome.

“It is a club with a tremendous reputation and a place where I knew I could come and settle and play my football. Once I met Jim and his amazing enthusiasm for the future here it was an easy decision to make.”

Although Bruce has only just met his knew teammates and never knew any previously, he is pally with one former Blues defender - Chris Makin.

Like Makin, who has won promotion from the Championship twice with Sunderland and Reading, Bruce is not known for his goals but he wants to change that.

Like Chris I'm not renowned for scoring goals but I would like to pop up with a few important goals. Especially at set pieces and I hope to beat Chris' record here, which should not be hard as he got none.”

Bruce has been handed the number five squad number and could line up as right back tomorrow in his debut.

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