Bruce delighted for Matt

ALEX Bruce spoke for the Ipswich Town dressing room when he said how delighted the whole squad was that former England Under-21 international Matt Richards scored last night's winning goal.

By Elvin King

ALEX Bruce spoke for the Ipswich Town dressing room when he said how delighted the whole squad was that former England Under-21 international Matt Richards scored last night's winning goal.

And Bruce revealed why he was booked, and apologised to his manager and team mates for having to sit out two games.

Playing as a central defensive partner to acting skipper Richard Naylor after being left out of the starting line-up at Sunderland on Saturday, Bruce said: “It was always going to be a difficult game.

“And we needed something special from Matt (Richards).

“There was a lot of publicity about the treatment he received from the 'Boo-boys' at our last home match. So we are all delighted for him.

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“He answered his critics in the best way possible and held his nerve to score so well.”

Bruce went into the referee's book four minutes from the end for telling an opponent to: 'Keep your ******* arms down.'

“The player was using his elbows too much and I thought he was out of order.

“The referee deemed it was a bookable offence. There was a bit of afters when their player squared-up to me after the final whistle but it was handbags.

“I let the manager and players down with Jason De Vos out with injury. I have done my best to delay my tenth booking, but it was always going to come and I thought I was lucky in the first half after a challenge in the centre circle.

“It was disappointing to be left out on Saturday, but that is football and it means you have to work harder. I thought I did well last night.

“The FA Cup could open up for us this season, and it will be a wrench to have to watch the Swansea game from the stand.”

After scoring his second goal of the season - and his eighth in total - Richards said: “The most important thing is that we won. This is all that counts in cup games.

“We weren't at our best but we are through and can look forward to a home tie against Swansea, who will be difficult team to overcome. But we will be up for it.

“Obviously, I was pleased to score the goal. I know that I need to score more but the goal wasn't just important for me it was important for the team. We need to start scoring more and midfield have a part to play in that.

“I have been getting a bit of stick lately from the fans but I try not to let it get to me.

“I will be the first one to say that I need to perform better. My standards are a lot higher than those I've been producing and I will continue to work hard to improve my game.”

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