Alex can rely on mother's pride

ALEX Bruce is backing on his mum's support tonight when Ipswich take on his dad Steve's club Wigan.

Derek Davis

ALEX Bruce is backing on his mum's support tonight when Ipswich take on his dad Steve's club Wigan.

Mum Sandra has split loyalties, or two chances of following a team to Wembley, whichever way you look at it, but Alex reckons he has a secret weapon.

Alex joked “My dad might pay the mortgage, but I buy her nicer birthday presents.”

He added: “She always wants me to do well and she will want my dad to do well, but I'm sure and when it comes down to it she will be wanting me to win this time.

“She has seen enough success with my dad in the past, so it is my turn now and I think she will want us to win.”

Most Read

However, Bruce Senior has a different idea, and yesterday said: "It is about time I turned him over.”

Bruce the younger is likely to replace Richard Naylor who is likely to be rested and he sees it as a chance of forcing his way back into the side on a permanent basis.

He said: “If I play it gives me another chance to do well and stake my place.”

Since signing from his dad's club Birmingham in the summer of 2006, Bruce has been up against his dad's side just once when Town beat City 1-0 the season before last.

Bruce said: “It is a bit of a weird situation, but I have done it before so it is not a problem.

“I'm 1-0 up so I'm looking for another win and for us to get to the next round of the cup.

“It is an extra incentive for me but more importantly it is a good opportunity for the team to beat a Premier League side and progress.

“We beat them when he was manager of Birmingham when Gavin Williams scored here at Portman Road.”

Bruce will be up against former Birmingham team-mate Emile Heskey who has recently been recalled successfully to the England set up.

Bruce said: “Emile is just starting to get the credit he deserves. I know how hard it is to play against. He is physically powerful man and excellent player who brings others into the play.

“When you look at Michael Owen and others who have played up top with Emile, England's best results come when he is playing.

“Emile is a very clever player and while people cans ay he may not have scored a lot of goals the amount he makes for other people by his hold up play and bringing others in makes up for it.”

With Henri Camara his likely strike partner Wigan will probably stick to a traditional line up which Bruce admits will suit him just fine.

He added: “My dad is usually very bold in his tactics to play 4-4-2 unless it is one of the very big teams where he goes a bit tighter and changes things.

“We all want to win a bit of silverware and realistically this competition offers clubs like Wigan and ourselves the best opportunity.”

Nothing has moved on from last month regarding Bruce's contract situation. Town want to keep him, an offer is on the table and Bruce is keen to stay if an improved contract can be negotiated.

Bruce said: “There have been a couple of conversations with my agent and if the manager feels I deserve a new contract then great and I would be happy to stay.

“I just want to play my football and let those concerned to deal with it.”

Magilton said: “We really like Alex who has never let us down. He was unlucky with the sending off because up until that point he was playing very well. He gets another chance now.

“The contract is still on the table and we are still in talks with his agent.

“Alex needs to be playing games. He has been involved in the international set up and needs to play here and will get the opportunity to play tonight and we go from there.”