Bruce: We are tough enough for promotion

DOGGED defender Alex Bruce believes Ipswich Town have the mental toughness required to finish in the automatic top two promotion places.With away wins at Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace on the back of the best home record in the division, Town are nestled in the top six but Bruce insists they can aim even higher.

Derek Davis

DOGGED defender Alex Bruce believes Ipswich Town have the mental toughness required to finish in the automatic top two promotion places.

With away wins at Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace on the back of the best home record in the division, Town are nestled in the top six but Bruce insists they can aim even higher.

Bruce said: “Our away form of late has been very good so if we can keep that going and pick up these vital home points then we can go for the top two spots, never mind just the play-offs.


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“You have to set you sights high and standards high, and if we do that we won't fall far short.

“We have to go on an unbeaten run, certainly not lose, and the Championship being the way it is, we can do that.”

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To achieve that means Town being tougher than they have been in recent years when they have fallen short, but the former Birmingham City defender is confident a revitalised Blues can do that.

He said: “There is a stronger mental toughness now than we have ever had. The new signing have put everyone on their toes, the competition for places means you have to be resilient and that brings about a mental toughness.

“It is no good just talking about it though, we have to go out and produce the goods on the pitch.”

That will include standing up to the bully boys like Watford and Town showed in the 1-0 win at Selhurst Park they can do that after struggling at home against leaders Watford

Bruce said: “We have to be able to adapt. Watford did what works for them and we have to look to match teams but not get dragged into a fight but play our football. Against Blackpool today, we have to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and set our stall out early as we have done so many times at home this season.”

One way of adapting was to switch Bruce to right back and bring in Richard Naylor and the 23-year-old was delighted with the way it worked out.

Bruce said: “I was a little surprised to go to right back after playing centre half all season but I don't mind where I played. It worked well, a masterstroke by the manager, because he wanted Bam Bam's physical presence as they play in a similar way to Watford and Stoke in trying to get the ball forward with height up front.”

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