Bruce full of relish for Big Mac

ALEX Bruce today welcomed the addition of Ian McParland to the Blues coaching staff.

Elvin King

ALEX Bruce today welcomed the addition of Ian McParland to the Blues coaching staff.

The 25-year-old defender, who is hoping to hold his place for tomorrow's Championship game against Coventry City at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm), says the ex-Notts County manager has played his part in improving results.

And he can help Ipswich secure a Premier League place.

With just one defeat in their last 14 games, Town are poised to move further away from the drop zone and according to Bruce into possible play-off potential.

Long-serving Bryan Klug may have left the Ipswich coaching staff this week, but Bruce is in optimistic mood.

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“Ian's come in with new ideas and we've been on a good run in that time,” said Bruce.

“He's a lovely fella and I'm enjoying working with him.

“He's helped improve things.

“When a guy with his experience comes in he brings in new ideas and, as a footballer, it makes it very enjoyable.”

Keane was searching for an experienced coach to join his team and after a brief dalliance with Peter Taylor he settled on McParland, who he had met on a coaching course.

Along with number two Tony Loughlan, technical skills coach Steve Foley and goalkeeping coach James Hollman, 'Big Mac' has played his part in Town's significant upward movement.

The recent 'big freeze' has not helped Town's preparations as they attempt to secure a hat-trick of home victories.

“It's not been ideal but we've coped,” said Bruce.

“The snowy weather has been a nightmare, and made it stop-start on the training ground.

“We've been doing sessions in the indoor dome, which is not ideal.

“Hopefully as soon as the better weather comes back we'll be able to train properly again.”

Like the rest of his team mates Bruce will be seeking revenge after losing the opening game of the season 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena - a game where David Norris suffered as serious knee injury in the opening half.

Bruce went on: “You have to have a certain expectation of yourself.

“We have targets and we all - players and staff - want to be at the top end of the table.

“Tomorrow is certainly a game we should be looking to win.

“You have to mark down all your games for three points, especially at home.

“Coventry are going well, but Tuesday's FA Cup extra time against Portsmouth was not ideal preparation for them.

“Hopefully we can take advantage and get one over on them for what happened on the first day of the season. We didn't deserve to lose that game.”