Has Alex played his last game for Town?

ALEX Bruce could well have played his last game for Ipswich Town after being sent off in the 3-1 against Bristol City last night.The dismissal threw a shadow over the hard-fought victory after coming back from going a goal down against the Robins.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

ALEX Bruce could well have played his last game for Ipswich Town after being sent off in the 3-1 against Bristol City last night.

The dismissal threw a shadow over the hard-fought victory after coming back from going a goal down against the Robins.

Blues boss Jim Magilton last night praised his players but admitted the sending off, which could lead to a four match ban, will not help Bruce's cause.

Bruce will not be available again until January when the transfer window opens and the club have already made it clear he will not be offered a new deal so he could well move with Norwich, Leeds and Fiorentina among the clubs understood to be interested in signing him in the new year.

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Magilton said: “It has come at a bad time for Alex because he has been outstanding for us.”

Bruce went after a tackle on Nicky Maynard left the City striker with a large gash down his leg.

Magilton said: “The referee was in a good position and if Alex has left the ground then he deserves to go.

“He has got a bit of the ball and he has caught the lad over the top of the ball.

“Alex is a full-blooded lad and when he goes in for a tackle he goes in.

“He has never intentionally gone into a tackle maliciously to hurt anyone.”

Goals from Jon Walters and Pablo Counago, followed by an own goal from Liam Fontaine, wiped out Stern John's fifth minute opener and the victory takes Town's unbeaten home run to nine games. Magilton said: “The lads showed great character after going a goal down. We knew we had to lift the crowd which was pretty quiet at first.

“It was even quieter in the directors' box where I was sitting when they scored.

“I can't fault the players who showed a tremendous spirit and togetherness.

“We had enough shot and the keeper has made enough good saves in the first half to give us the belief that we could go on in the second half and get something from the game.

“We scored early in the first half and once we scored three I felt we could go on and score six and we might have had we had 11 players on the pitch.”

The lowest crowd in two seasons watched the win with a sole banner saying 'Magilton Out' was hoisted before the game and at half-time but Magilton was not too concerned about whether the win would be enough to quell the unrest among Town supporters.

He said: “I'm not interested whether it quietens them or not. People are going to say what they are going to say and I can't affect that.

“What I will say is that we go a goal down and our crowd are magnificent.

“I can't affect anything outside the players I have in my team and how I go about my business at this football club.

“You either have self belief or you don't and I wasn't going to lose my self belief after one game.

“Football gives the chance to right those wrongs and we did against Bristol City now we have to back it up again on Saturday.

“We are at home and we are on a roll and if Alan Quinn had not done a Peter Shilton impression in the last game we would have won that one too.”

The defeat leaves former Newmarket Town boss Gary Johnson with just one win in 10 for his Bristol City side.

Johnson said: “I was pleased with the way we started but poor for 10 minutes in the second half. All three goals were down to poor defending.”

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk