Bruce: Connor an 'amazing talent'

ALEX Bruce today talked about the amazing talent that is his 16-year-old Ipswich Town team mate Connor Wickham.

Elvin King

ALEX Bruce today talked about the amazing talent that is his 16-year-old Ipswich Town team mate Connor Wickham.

Honoured at captaining the Blues in their Carling Cup penalty shoot-out victory at League Two Shrewsbury on Tuesday, Bruce sees a big a future for two-goal Wickham.

“He is an amazing talent,” said Bruce. “If he carries on as he is he is going to be a top, top player and an exciting one for Ipswich fans.

“We have had some good young strikers come through the academy at Portman Road, but at his age he is the best I have seen.

“When I was his age instead of winning cup ties I was dreaming of being Pele and playing on my Nintendo.”

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Wickham scored two stunning goals at the ProStar Stadium and then tucked away one of the penalties as Town won 4-2 on spot kicks after a 3-3 draw.

His second when he turned superbly to leave a couple of defenders in his wake and then leave the keeper helpless will be scrutinised time and again - a goal worthy of being kept on tape for prosperity.

“Connor already plays like a grown man, and he is a credit to himself,” said Bruce. “The manager and coaches will keep his feet on the ground I am sure.”

And Bruce had praise for Blues manager Roy Keane after making 10 changes for Tuesday's game after the Championship defeat at Coventry two days earlier.

“He had the balls to play the young lads,” said Bruce who was only player to start both matches.

“A few stepped up to the plate, and although there were a few errors you expect that from newcomers.

“No matter how many friendlies etc you play it is a totally different experience in a competitive fixture. And the lads did well.

“I want to play every game and was pleased to get the call. It beats watching Jeff Stelling on the results programme on Sky Sports.

“It does my head in doing that when the lads are playing.”

Bruce is now looking for a good result against Leicester City in the first home Championship game of the season on Saturday.

“I hope we can give them a good spanking,” he went on. “This would make all at Portman Road excited about the season.

“Ipswich Town is a great club and should be in the Premier League, and the appointment of the current manager shows the intent to push ahead.

“I kept hitting stumbling blocks last season before eventually signing a new contract. I always wanted to sign and with a new manager now I want to play a part.”