Bruce calls sending off a 'joke'

ALEX Bruce today called his sending off a 'joke', and appealed to referee Iain Williamson to show some common sense.“I will be devastated if my season is over,” said Ipswich Town defender Bruce, who is in line for a three-match suspension if his red card for violent conduct stays.

By Elvin King

ALEX Bruce today called his sending off a 'joke', and appealed to referee Iain Williamson to show some common sense.

“I will be devastated if my season is over,” said Ipswich Town defender Bruce, who is in line for a three-match suspension if his red card for violent conduct stays.

“The referee has said that he will look at the video, and when he does he will see nothing.”


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Bruce and Derby keeper Stephen Bywater were both sent off in the 26th minute after they squared up to each other following a corner in a Coca-Cola Championship game that Ipswich won 2-1.

Their foreheads touched but there was no evidence to confirm a head butt had taken place, particularly from Bruce.

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“I went to see the referee, and he said he would look at the video, which is nice,” added Bruce.

“Hopefully he will then rescind the card.

“It was a joke decision. The keeper was hurling abuse at me and shouting verbals.

“When I turned round his head was in my face.

“I took what he said and then turned away. This is clearly shown in the video.

“I don't know why he had a go as there is no history between us, and hopefully the referee will show common sense.”

Bywater then chased Bruce as they were leaving the field and they had to be separated after Bruce had been pushed. Several players joined in an ugly scene.

Derby boss Billy Davies was sent to the stand, and it took five minutes for peace to be restored.

“I had my problems with referees earlier in the season when I was proving to Ipswich supporters I could get stuck in,” said Bruce, who has been booked 11 times since his summer move from Birmingham

“But I have settled down since and I am devastated. It will be a massive blow if I cannot play in the last three big games.

“I watched the second half and the lads were fantastic and fully deserved to fight back and grab a win.”

Bruce had some compensation when his father Steve's team Birmingham beat Southampton to move one point behind second-placed Derby.

“I hope Birmingham go up,” said Bruce junior.

Owen Garvan was taken off with a dead leg at half-time that is not deemed too serious, while Lewis Price is still receiving treatment for his bruised foot.

Is Bruce right to say he should not have been sent off? Vote now in our web poll at www.eveningstar.co.uk, e-mail starsport@eveningstar.co.uk or write to Evening Star sports desk, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.

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