Ex-Town star recalls his Stamford Bridge delight
IPSWICH TOWN: Alex Bruce today expressed his surprise at the Blues dispensing with the services of manager Roy Keane.
The 26-year-old defender scored an equalising goal when Town played Chelsea in the fourth round of the FA Cup two years ago.
The Londoners went on to win 3-1 with Ipswich going back to Stamford Bridge tomorrow looking to gain revenge on a team that won the Premier League and FA Cup double last season.
When Bruce left Portman Road to join Leeds last summer there was talk of bad feeling between player and manager and that Bruce could not wait to get away from Keane.
But Bruce said today: “My dealings with Roy one to one were absolutely fine and he looked after my interests. He’s a good manager – there is no doubt about that as his record at Sunderland proves.
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“If you can’t get motivated to play for a legend like Roy then you never will, and I had hoped that Ipswich would stick with him.
“They have Chelsea followed by Arsenal in cup competitions and two good performances could lead to an improvement in their league form.”
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Bruce, who was laid low with a virus and groin problem over Christmas, is preparing for a big cup game himself with Leeds taking on the Gunners today prior to Arsene Wenger’s side meeting Town in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg at Portman Road on Wednesday.
“I’m looking forward to playing at the Emirates, and I have great memories of playing at Stamford Bridge for Ipswich,” added Bruce.
“I shall never forget scoring in front of the thousands of Blues fans behind one goal, and for a while we were very much in the game.
“Chelsea beat us thanks to three long-range shots, and I remember thinking to myself ‘what talent he’s got’ when Frank Lampard netted with an absolute cracker.”
Bruce stays in touch with many of the Ipswich squad and he’s looking to the likes of Gareth McAuley and David Norris to lead the Blues up the Championship table.
“I watched the win over Leicester on TV and Ipswich played well and are good enough to motor up the league.
“The quality is certainly there to go places and although it was always a privilege to play for a great club like Ipswich I have no regrets about my move to Leeds and apart from a dip at Cardiff this week we’re been doing well.
“I’m surprised that Andros Townsend has left Ipswich – he was too quick for me at Portman Road and I ended up with an early bath!”