Bruce: I'm no closet Canary

IPSWICH star Alex Bruce has a confession to make ahead of Sunday's live-on-Sky derby clash.There's a picture out there somewhere of Bruce - the only East Anglia-born player likely to feature in Sunday's game - sporting the Canary colours.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH star Alex Bruce has a confession to make ahead of Sunday's live-on-Sky derby clash.

There's a picture out there somewhere of Bruce - the only East Anglia-born player likely to feature in Sunday's game - sporting the Canary colours.

Bruce, 22, laughed: “I know for a fact that it exists because I've seen it, but that sort of thing is hard to avoid. Especially when you're not old enough to speak up for yourself and your old man just happens to be the Norwich captain!”

The versatile Bruce - he has played as a full-back, central defender and midfielder for Town - is adamant he is no closet Canary.

He added: “I'd just turned three when my dad was transferred to Manchester United and I didn't have a clue about football at such a tender age.

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“I was born in Norwich but for as long as I can remember I've been a United fan.

“But I can't deny that I've seen an old picture of me with green and yellow kit on. It's not surprising given who my father is - but Ipswich supporters definitely shouldn't read anything into it.

“I'm looking forward to Sunday's game as much as they are and I want the same outcome as they do, a home win.

“My parents have a lot of friends in Norwich from when they lived there, but apart from being born there I have no connections whatsoever.”

Bruce said the fact that his father is Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce, one of Norwich's all-time greats and a star of many a bruising derby in the mid-80s, should count for absolutely nothing.

He added: “It's just one of those things. Football is full of coincidences and ironies like that.”

Steve certainly did nothing to discourage his son from joining Town on a free transfer in the summer.

Bruce Jnr said: “All he was concerned with was getting me out from under his hair at Birmingham. In all seriousness, he was happy for me that I was joining such a decent club. I love it here.”

Bruce returned to training with Ipswich today and will take his place on Sunday alongside skipper Jason De Vos and Dan Harding in a new-look back four featuring on-loan Middlesbrough teenager Matthew Bates.

Another youngster, striker Billy Clarke, is also winning his fitness battle after missing Town's last two games with a knee injury.

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