Bruce to stay at Town

IPSWICH Town defender Alex Bruce has been given a boost by being included in the Republic of Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Wednesday February 11.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town defender Alex Bruce has been given a boost by being included in the Republic of Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Wednesday February 11.

And the 24-year-old defender is expected to stay with the Blues until the summer at least.

Bruce last week turned down what manager Jim Magilton described as a very good offer to extend his stay at Portman Road until June 2011.


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There is quite a difference between what the club has offered and want Bruce is happy to accept and nothing has moved over the last seven days.

Given his usual good reception by Town fans at Selhurst Park in Saturday's 4-1 Coca-Cola Championship win over Crystal Palace, Bruce is believed to be now set on seeing out his current contract, and not be tempted away in the current transfer window.

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Bruce, who played in the Republic of Ireland's last game, is expected to keep his place in the Town team for Saturday's glamour FA Cup game sell-out fourth round tie at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.

David Wright is training this week after a hamstring problem and Ben Thatcher is expected to have recovered from a virus which saw him miss Saturday's game.

David Norris has been named in the Championship Team of the Week for his role in the victory at Selhurst Park where he scored his second goal of the season and put in an all-action display on the left of midfield

Town have allowed striker Billy Clarke to join Northampton on a month's loan. The Irish Under-21 international recently returned from a spell at Darlington.

Ipswich manager Jim Magilton said: “Billy needs to be out playing first-team games and the loan will give him the opportunity to do that.”

Cobblers boss Stuart Gray is delighted to have made the signing: “Billy is a lively, hardworking striker who is very mobile. He has got good pace and is decent in the air for his size. He is only 21 but he has already made nearly 100 senior appearances.

“I have watched him in reserve team football where he has always impressed me. We are grateful to Jim Magilton at Ipswich for allowing us to borrow Billy.”

Town have sold their entire allocation of 6,000 tickets for the Chelsea game. Fans started queuing at 6.30am yesterday morning and the phone system was red hot.

Town's ticket and call centre manager John Ford said: “It was a very busy morning. We had around 2,500 tickets snapped up in the first three hours of trading, with the majority going to supporters queuing up at Planet Blue.

“Obviously there will be fans who have missed out but we have 15,000 season ticket holders and only 6,000 tickets for the game so there was always going to people who will be disappointed.”

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